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New year presents HE sector with fresh challenges

Professor Malcolm Todd, Deputy Vice-Chancellor/Provost (academic and student experience) at the University of Derby, comments on what he sees as the most significant higher education news and opinions making headlines in the first week of 2020.

Universities UK International calls on employers to back study abroad campaign

Vivienne Stern, Director of Universities UK International, introduces the launch of Year Three of UUKi's Go International: Stand Out campaign, calling on employers to promote the value of international experience.

HEFCE launches new learning gain pilot

Ten universities are to take part in the first pilot of a project design to measure how well student learn and what support their institutions provide.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England project will pilot a combination of methodological approaches to measuring learning gain, with the help of undergraduate students at Anglia Ruskin University, Bishop Grosseteste University, the University of Greenwich, the University of Hertfordshire, the University of Hull, the University of Kent, the University of Leicester, the University of Liverpool, the University of St Mark and St John, and the University of Wolverhampton.

In each year of their studies from 2016-17 to 2019-20, participating students will be invited to complete an assessment, which will explore their critical thinking and problem-solving skills, attitudes towards their study experience, and engagement with their studies.

As part of the wider programme of work on learning gain, HEFCE has already funded 13 institutionally led pilot projects. This programme of work is contributing to ongoing debates about the quality and impact of higher education, and how to evidence students’ wider learning.

A detailed overview of the NMMLGP will be presented alongside findings from the first year of work within the learning gain pilot projects on Thursday 10 November at the HEFCE National Conference on Learning Gain.

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