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Collaborative Development Fund

New challenges, new solutions. The 2021-22 Collaborative Development Fund supports the development of our members by addressing key sector challenges together, through a series of five projects.

New challenges, new solutions

For the 2021-22 member benefit year, funding will be available to Advance HE members in the form of our Collaborative Development Fund, comprising five projects under the themes of equality, diversity and inclusion, student success, the Professional Standards Framework (PSF), college-based Higher Education and inclusive institutional cultures. The collaborative projects aim to harness the knowledge, experience and innovative capabilities of our members in order to address current challenges within the HE sector.

All colleagues at Advance HE member institutions were invited to apply for the Collaborative Development Fund of between £2,500 and £50,000 (dependent on the project - further details are within the application packs), with projects starting in February 2022. 

The funding supports developments in priority areas aligned to our commitments within the Advance HE Strategy and the outputs will be shared with Advance HE’s member community.

Details of the projects and funding awards can been found below. You can register for updates on these projects here

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We are delighted to be funding these innovative and exciting project initiatives. These collaborative projects aim to harness the knowledge, experience and innovative capabilities of our members in order to address a range of current challenges within the sector.

The level of interest and strength of applications for this round of funding was overwhelming, demonstrating the level of appetite for collaboration on creating genuine insight and impactful solutions from across our membership base. Everyone at Advance HE is proud to be able to support our members through initiatives such as this and we look forward to working with the successful bidders.”

Nick Skeet, Associate Director, Membership & Accreditation at Advance HE

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2021 - 22 Collaborative Development Fund projects

Information on our Collaborative Development Fund projects can be found below. 

The Future Student Experience Project

The principal aim of the project is to stimulate debate about the future student experience through an exploration of potential, desirable and less desirable scenarios. Scenarios should be identified through an analysis of the current trends in the sector and consideration of the potential social, financial, technological and environmental drivers and disruptors to identify alternative futures.

The outputs of the project will be used to enable members to plan and develop strategies to position themselves to take advantage of changes in the tertiary education landscape and develop the future student experiences that align with their mission and values.

Funding for project has been awarded to:
- Deakin University
- Staffordshire University
- University of Brighton (lead), University of Greenwich, Anglia Ruskin University, Birmingham City University, on behalf of University Alliance
- Manchester Metropolitan University
- University of Greenwich, Ravensbourne University London

Inclusive institutions: enabling and supporting culture change

The principal aim of the research is to collate and understand a range of techniques/approaches and lessons learned from members’ current work to transform, enable and support an inclusive culture, ways of working, or delivery of key strategic aims.

The outputs from the projects will provide an evidence base for members of potential solutions which could include a portfolio of case studies or other resources. The output could include a reflection on common themes, success factors and learning and could be used to inform identification of priorities for areas still to address (by Advance HE or providers).

Funding for this project has been awarded to:
- Deakin University
- University of Salford
- Imperial College London (lead), University of Reading
- Kingston University (lead), Anglia Ruskin University, Birmingham City University, Teesside University, University of Brighton, University of Hertfordshire, on behalf of University Alliance

Utilising the Professional Standards Framework for Teaching and Supporting Learning for Strategic Change

The principal aim of the project is to collate and curate a small number of institutional case studies that identify and explain how the PSF has been utilised in institutional initiatives designed to achieve strategic change and/or institutional transformation.

Funding for this project has been awarded to:
- The University of Hull (lead), University of Limerick

College-based HE Network: a collaborative space for developing HE culture and practice

The principal aim for this project is to co-create spaces for leaders of college-based tertiary or higher education across the UK to come together and share practices, devise solutions to meet their challenges and opportunities and build stronger links with the Advance HE community. This network will provide a space to link college-based HE providers in all UK nations and deliver on areas of focus that are more prominent in college-based HE, such as the further development of a higher education scholarship culture and the navigation of competing regulatory demands. The network will seek to provide solutions and guidelines to address shared challenges for the benefit of Advance HE’s college members.

Funding for this project has been awarded to:
- University Centre Leeds (Leeds City College)

Exploring a holistic approach to equality, diversity and inclusion

A key commitment in Advance HE’s new strategy is to explore the potential of a holistic approach to EDI that will help members to focus on those equalities that matter most to them.

Advance HE has awarded collaborative development funding to a team from Newcastle University to run an independent consultation exercise with the sector to inform the next steps, with a representative sector advisory group guiding the work. This will be an exploration of the potential for a new holistic approach to EDI accreditation, with the chance for everyone to provide their views and shape the next steps.

This potential approach will allow institutions to focus on the equalities that matter most to them, be it disability, socio-economic status, poverty, health, wellbeing; it could be a singular focus or combination that suits their context. This will also enable institutions to take a more holistic approach and be more joined up in their equalities work, which may currently be siloed.

Advance HE recognises that any new EDI approach may not be the preferred option for institutions. If the consultation determines there is the appetite for something new, it would sit alongside Athena Swan and REC and provide an option for institutions to engage with.
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