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Member Benefit Round-up December 2021

15 Dec 2021 | Advance HE December's member benefit round-up provides a summary of recent and upcoming member benefit activity including the Connect Benefit Series, Collaborative Development Fund, Teaching Excellence Awards, and recent and upcoming publications.

As ever, our member institutions and colleagues employed at those institutions are at the heart of everything we do. In order to make our member benefits as available and accessible to you as possible, each month this summary will provide an overview of recent and upcoming member benefit activity, including the Connect Benefit Series and Fellowship and Accreditation, including the Athena Swan and Race Equality charters. 

Advance HE member benefits are open to all colleagues at Advance HE member institutionsOur member benefits are built from services our members have continued to enjoy over many years plus new services developed based on your feedback, to ensure greater accessibility and engagement.

Promoting Freedom of Speech and Good Campus Relations Sector Roundtables

Advance HE, GuildHE and Universities UK are seeking expressions of interest for a series of roundtables centred on promoting free speech and good campus relations in HE.

The project aims to promote and reinforce university environments that encourage debate, the free exchange of ideas and protect academic freedom, while also preventing harassment and creating environments of mutual respect and inclusion.

The work will inform our engagement with DfE and OfS ahead of regulation and guidance implemented under the Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill. It will also seek to understand issues affecting the sector and how these may best be navigated to feed into updated Promoting Good Relations on Campus guidance.

The roundtables will bring together a number of stakeholders (15-20 per roundtable) from different roles and perspectives from across the sector, to share challenges and effective practice in five areas that have been identified as of particular concern. Find out more and register your interest to attend a roundtable here by 4 January 2022 18:00 GMT. 

2021-22 Collaborative Development Fund - Deadline to apply 21 December 12:00 GMT

There’s still time to apply for our Collaborative Development Fund 2021-22. The deadline to apply for all projects is 12:00 GMT on 21 December.

The Collaborative Development Fund invites colleagues at Advance HE member institutions to apply funding 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 will support 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. Find out more about the projects here

Global leadership survey and framework

Advance HE is working with the sector to develop a global survey for leadership in higher education, research institutes and related organisations. The project aims to generate a unique evidence base for leadership through exploring the impact of leadership development across the sector and throughout the world.

The first stage of the project has involved Advance HE commissioning a scoping study which concluded with the following outputs; a literature review and a series of 11 roundtable discussions.

In the next stage of the scoping study, we are hosting a series of online engagement and dissemination events in February 2022 to bring together all colleagues and hear first-hand some of the initial findings from the global leadership survey research.

In order to accommodate as many colleagues as possible, the same event will take place at the following dates and times: 

  • Tuesday 8 February 2022, 07:00 - 08:30 GMT - book here 
  • Wednesday 9 February 2022,13:00 -14:30 GMT - book here 
  • Thursday 17 February 2022, 09:00 - 10:30 GMT - book here 
  • Thursday 17 February 2022, 15:30 - 17:00 GMT - book here

Find out more about the project here

Advance HE welcomes its 400th member institution

The University of Fort Hare, South Africa has become the 400th Advance HE member institution. UFH is looking to continue its work towards Advance HE accreditation, which will allow it to directly award Fellowships to those delivering and supporting teaching and learning, following successful completion of an accredited programme. Read the full story here.

Connect Benefit Series - Student success

Our Student success Connect Benefit Series project is a longitudinal project which has focussed on access, retention, attainment and progression, and embedding employability in higher education. The project aims to:

  • Share and promote an evidence-based approach to access, retention, attainment and progression, and employability
  • Consider the primary lessons and changes in direction from 2016 – 2021
  • Identify core areas for Advance HE to focus upon and further enhance alignment to the core areas of student success as recognised by the framework series
  • Engage with pragmatic, practical examples and activity to enhance student success 
  • Provide thought leadership to develop effective approaches to enabling student success.

Outputs from this theme include two literature reviews, podcasts and webinar recordings, and can be found here. In the new year, a third area of focus – Flexible learning – will be explored.

Connect Benefit Series – Leading change through teams and networks

Our Leading change through teams and networks Connect Benefit Series project explores the opportunities for and challenges in developing change agency as a core skill for collaborative working within and between teams, groups and networks. The project aims to:

  • Support our governance colleagues in small and specialist institutions, by teaming up with GuildHE and launching a network for supporting board diversity in small and specialist institutions. 
  • Support our colleagues who work to improve student outcomes for diverse student communities, be it lecturers, learning and teaching coordinators or student services colleagues.
  • Support leaders and institutional change-makers by diving deep into the best examples and practice of managing change through building effective teams and networks.

Outputs from this theme include an invitation to join the network ‘Supporting Inclusive Boards: community in small and specialist institutions’, a webinar recording on ‘The role of social capital in the success of Black, Asian and minority ethnic students’ and a panel discussion Building a successful team or network to transform institutions: a discussion panel with change experts’ on 18 January 2022 at 14:00 – 16:00 (GMT). All additional outputs from this project can be found here.

Connect Benefit Series – Transitions, retention and progression

Our Transitions, retention and progression Connect Benefit Series project ran from August to the end of October and focused on the challenges and opportunities of different experiences and approaches to transitions, retention and progression in higher education, fostering a dialogue and support through a community of practice that is designed to better prepare students, staff and other stakeholders for transitions into and through the 2021-22 academic year.

All outputs from this project, including blogs, podcasts and a webinar recording can be accessed here.

Athena Swan Charter member event

The Athena Swan Charter member events have been offered as a series of webinars to support Athena Swan Charter members who are preparing to adopt the transformed UK Athena Swan Charter. The webinars have been relevant to those preparing an Athena Swan application under the transformed Charter, including staff from Research Institutes, Universities or academic departments.

There’s still time for Athena Swan Charter members to book on to the final webinar Evaluating your action plan and evidencing success on 2 February 2022 10:00-12:00 (GMT). Confirm your place here.

Recent publications

Findings from the 2021 UK Engagement Survey

UKES 2021 provides a comprehensive and detailed overview of key areas such as staff/student interaction, impacts of remote learning caused by the global pandemic and factors linked to retention. Download here.

Assessment in Law 

This publication comprises nine case study papers written by colleagues working at law schools, or in the field of law, within (UK-based) higher education institutions. The focus of the publication is assessment and feedback, and each paper considers a relevant issue or innovation, in law, connected to the institution concerned. Download here.

Building belonging: Developing religiously inclusive cultures for Muslim students in higher education

This project from the University of Winchester looks at developing inclusive cultures for Muslim students in higher education. Supported by our Good Practice Grants 2020, the project features a report and podcast offering guidance for higher education institutions to embed a sense of belonging for Muslim students and staff. Download here.

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