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Advance HE announces awardees for its Collaborative Development Fund

01 Mar 2021 | Advance HE Funded projects will highlight good practice in education and governance for members

Advance HE has made two awards through its Collaborative Development Fund which was launched for members in November 2020.

  • Queen Mary University of London has been successful for the Education theme – ‘Developing flexible ecosystems for education that support student success: where are we now, what works and where next?’

  • The University of Gloucestershire has been awarded funding, in collaboration with Perret Laver, for the Governance theme, ‘Board diversity practice project’.

The funding will support developments in priority areas and the outputs will be shared with Advance HE’s member community.

Discussing the Education theme, Dr Catherine (Kay) Hack, Advance HE Principal Adviser (Learning and Teaching), said, “The pandemic has highlighted the need for higher education institutions to enhance their capability in operating flexible and resilient education systems to meet student expectations and accelerating social and economic transformations that society anticipates.

“Queen Mary's proposal sets out a very clear path as to how we draw on good practice and develop new ideas to support the sector as it continues to adapt to the new landscape and I am confident their work will be of great value to members.”

Professor Janet De Wilde, Director of the Queen Mary Academy, said, “We are delighted with the funding support for this important work. Working through surveys, case studies and roundtables, our aim is to establish the scale and range of practice in providing flexible learning opportunities, particularly looking at the strategic approaches and policies for managing flexible reward and recognition, learner-centred educational approaches and partnership approaches. We look forward to sharing our findings as they emerge and we will be reporting in detail in the summer.”

For the Governance theme, Victoria Holbrook, Advance HE Assistant Director, Governance said, "We are very pleased to support the University of Gloucestershire in their work to surface good practice in achieving Board diversity.

“Our own research [Diversity of HE Governing Bodies in the UK Report, 2020] shows that more needs to be done to ensure that diversity and inclusion is actively promoted within HE and research institute governing boards, and that meaningful steps are taken to ensure that they represent the staff and students they have a duty towards."

Dr Adeela ahmed Shafi MBE, Associate Professor in Education, the University of Gloucestershire, said, “We really welcome this funding. The pandemic has had a disproportionately adverse impact on BAME communities and reinforced gender inequalities, making Board diversity all the more important. We aim to collate, understand and share members’ practice in how they address Board diversity, because a diverse university Board makes for a good Board that is better able to serve the communities it represents. We’re looking forward to working with the sector and sharing our findings later in the year.”

Applications were open to all members and reviewed by a panel from the Advance HE Member Benefit Steering Group – and with Perrett Laver for governance – providing quantitative and qualitative feedback. The process included a review of the Equality Impact Assessments submitted by the applicants.

A third strand of work, ‘The reshaping of higher education and research institute strategy and culture: pandemic perturbations, evolution or revolution?’ will be led by Advance HE.

Find out more about the Collaborative Development Fund - supporting the development of our members by addressing key sector challenges together.


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