What the project is?
Bangor University has created an impressive record of accomplishment over the last few years in terms of quality enhancement within its undergraduate programme. The heart of these quality improvements is the new system of anonymous electronic module evaluation backed by a system to manage the data and ensure that issues are dealt with rapidly and appropriately by line managers. These improvements have also been manifest in our Postgraduate Taught (PGT) programmes where we also capture data and have now achieved improved PTES results. However the Postgraduate Research (PGR) domain remains a substantial challenge for a wide range of reasons including the difficulty of hosting data anonymously the infrequency of measurement points of quality and the bespoke nature of PhD provision.
Whilst the creation of the Bangor Doctoral School and the success of pan-Wales initiatives such as the Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships (KESS) ESF funded initiative is achieving substantial progress the PGR domain (nationally) presents the greatest challenge for quality enhancement. Hence we are keen to extend our systems and enhancement initiatives to the PGR domain. To achieve this we have consulted with PGR stakeholders to integrate modify and extend existing software and systems to integrate key evaluation points in the doctoral journey and to engage in a new round of training with a focus on stakeholder engagement which will encourage doctoral students to take a project management approach to their studies.
What the project plans to achieve?
This training aligned within the existing HEA accredited Aber-Bangor CPD framework and career pathways developed for postgraduates who teach together with alignment with broader employability initiatives will bring PGR students into the Bangor Employability Award for the first time.
A particular outcome for staff would be HEA / Vitae CPD recognition for engagement in the training and an overall increase in SFHEA applications where supervision case studies are the focus – which currently is not commonly the case. Project success will be monitored long term through a range of metrics such as PRES score retention rate PhD completion time and the number of post-viva appeals. In the short term success can be monitored through the analysis of data collected at specific points of an annual cycle.