Indicative actions for implemation

The Strategy touches every part of the University and all parts are committed to delivering it. Success will be achieved through effective partnership: between students and staff, and between Exeter and other like-minded universities, employers, voluntary organisations and alumni, from our foundations in the South West of England, to our future in our expanding global collaborations.

The Vice Chancellor’s Executive Group drives this Strategy. Our Colleges and Disciplines lead the delivery of education and will be responsible for ensuring the greatest part of its achievement. The Strategy is realised through an annual cycle of operating plans from academic and professional service teams across the University. An annual Progress Report will be produced each year. We will revisit our Strategy in 2016 to ensure it remains current. The Education Quality Enhancement Division of Academic Services will be responsible for monitoring and evaluation of delivery, including the setting of annual milestones towards delivery of the five year targets.

Practical action will be shaped by teams of staff and students throughout the University through the period to 2020, ensuring the best course of action in each context, College, and discipline. We understand the principal tasks required however and provide this annex to the Strategy as an internal University document to prompt debate, planning and implementation. Each section below identifies indicative actions and gives an illustration of how we might put our strategy into practice to realise our vision of an internationally outstanding educational experience for graduates who will change the world.

  • Attract the most academically able students to Exeter through effective international and UK marketing 
  • Identify and attract academically-able students from an increasingly diverse range of social backgrounds and locations through strategically-focused outreach activities in our region, the UK and across the world, and provide them with the support and resources to succeed 
  • Review the incentives we provide to attract the most talented undergraduates from widening participation backgrounds to study for masters or research degrees, and explore further progression agreements with our international partner universities to bring talented research students to Exeter
  • Introduce new processes to ensure students inform us of the full range of their achievements
  • Use our Massive Open On Line Courses to extend our connections with learners who may not have considered Exeter
  • Work with our international university partners and INTO to provide opportunities for talented international students to study with Exeter.
  • Annual reviews of student experience in all disciplines with sophisticated data analysis to assess the levels of student engagement as active learners
  • A programme of learning analytics for students to understand what they need to do to reach their goals and our educators to understand what learning tasks maximise academic success and engagement in activities that lead to graduate employment
  • Nurture effective learning communities, provide effective pastoral and academic guidance and understand the impact of a sense of belonging on student success
  • Extend Students as Change Agents to support students to transform education, organisation and life at university and contribute to the creation of The Exeter Experience
  • Support, through partnership with the Students Guild and FXU, increases in the levels of co-curricular student engagement: global and local action, democratic participation and representation, healthy and active living; and understand its contribution to student academic and graduate employment success
  1. Provide an extensive range of award-winning services to students to support their employability from pre-arrival through to successful graduate employment or entrepreneurship
  2. Reviews of programmes and curriculum design by Disciplines and Colleges to ensure students have the option to gain employment experience relevant to their degree within the curriculum, and to learn in ways that develop the capabilities for high impact graduate roles such as through group work, problem-solving, and research inquiry.
  3. Establish the Exeter Placement and Internship Centre (EPIC) to source over 5000 international and UK placements and internships per annum, exploit the University’s corporate partnerships and alumni network and provide over 400 bursaries will be distributed to students in need.
  1. Provide every undergraduate student the opportunity to learn with a world-leading researcher, taking appropriate action, such as through timetabling, curriculum development or new appointments, to ensure that every programme of study offered engages world-leading researchers, and inspires students through an education at the frontiers of knowledge.
  2. Use our international and UK university partnerships to make world-leading researchers from other universities part of the Exeter Experience, either virtually or through face-to-face contact.
  3. Conduct a baseline survey of learning and teaching methods adopted in our programmes to establish the extent to which they provide students with the ability to be researchers themselves and to adopt inquiry-based approaches to their study and review progress through College Annual Student Experience Reviews
  4. Support a programme of curriculum development with disciplines across the university to introduce new approaches and elements to the curriculum to enable students to undertake more research.
  5. Provide role models, mentors, champions and change agents to inform the development of the most positive environment to nurture student research, from undergraduate to doctoral.
  6. Maintain total student numbers at below 22,000 but increase the proportion of research students at Exeter.
  7. Investigate, with our international partners and those within our doctoral training partnerships the best ways to support the training, development and success of PhD students,
  8. Create virtual collaborative spaces to facilitate collaborative student research and the sharing of resources.
  9. Conduct a specialist review of the learning and social space needs of postgraduate researchers and identify the capital investments necessary to implement its recommendations.
  10. Review the appropriateness of our postgraduate taught provision, assessing, amongst other things, the extent to which those taught programmes maximise the number of the most talented research students joining us to study for a research degree.
  11. Explore new organisational arrangements such as the creation of a Graduate School or Research College, in order to bring more concerted leadership and coordination to the interventions from across the University to support research students
  12. Measure our progress in creating a positive research environment and high quality experience, through the use of PTES and PRES surveys, with Colleges reviewing progress annually through ASERs.
  1. Create additional Discipline and College Erasmus partnerships within Europe and work with an increased number of international university partners to develop new international study exchanges and summer school opportunities.
  2. Use our international corporate partnerships, offices and alumni to generate placement and internship opportunities for our students through EPIC
  3. Extend curricular opportunity for an international experience, through module development and programme redesign, and facilitated access to experiences outside of term time.
  4. Undertake a study into the barriers to student taking up opportunities for international experiences with the Students Guild and FXU and put in place measures to tackle these, measuring our progress through collecting data on international student engagement
  5. Further internationalise The Exeter Experience by capitalising on the contributions that our staff and students make to learning and life at Exeter
  6. Continue to grow our community of international educators, through search and recruitment that seeks to attract the best candidates from across the world
  7. Further increase the numbers of international students from a wider range of countries through new College approaches to recruitment, partnerships and commercial relationships in order to create a more diverse student body
  8. Draw on the diverse perspectives of international students through active and inquiry-based learning in the curriculum, analyse engagement data and commission evaluation reports on the International Student Experience in some disciplines, to ensure the quality of experience is high, regardless of where students originate from
  9. Systematically evaluate programmes through a new College-led process of programme review with a view to incorporating international perspectives into curricula
  10. Develop an institutional body of resources and expertise on effective practice in internationalising the curriculum and support programme teams with this process.
  1. Recruit, support and develop our educators with the aim of providing a world-class education
  2. Revise our Aspire framework, incorporating our Learning and Teaching in HE taught programme, our Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice and our Fellowship Scheme, with a view to developing capability in our educators to deliver the Exeter Experience set out in this strategy and develop in our graduates the attributes we have defined.
  3. Set a threshold proportion of staff in all disciplines that demonstrate their capability at both descriptor two and three of the UK Professional Standards Framework for Learning and Teaching (UKPSF) and develop College and Discipline plans to attain it
  4. Ensure each discipline has at least one member of staff that has evidenced they are a recognised national leader in learning and teaching in HE in the UK (that they meet descriptor 4 of the UKPSF), and monitor student engagement data to check on the proportion of students that are taught by these ‘Principal Fellows’
  5. Pilot arrangements for enabling educators to evidence continuing professional development or ‘maintenance of good [professional] standing’, in anticipation of required sector regulatory changes
  6. Review the balance of incentives, reward and recognition for different elements of academic staff portfolios, and revise appointment and promotion criteria and processes to ensure that we recruit, recognise and reward the best educators, whether they are employed on Education and Scholarship or Education and Research contracts
  7. Review the framework of support for the identification, development and success of staff who will take educational leadership roles, to ensure that the quality of educational leadership at all levels of the University remains high
  8. Develop detailed College and Discipline action plans for the improvement of the educational experience, supported by a coordinated approach from professional services, evaluating the impact of these plans on an annual basis and benchmarking their progress against the same disciplines in other institutions in the UK
  9. Enhance services in the interpretation of educational data and pilot targeted support to discipline with interventions to address issues identified
  10. Continue to improve the ratio of staff to students, and benchmark our progress against comparator universities in the UK and internationally
  11. Provide targeted and bespoke programme level support as well as initiating coordinated cross-institutional initiatives where common themes for improvement are evident, such as with assessment and feedback practice and policy, the teaching of international students or the application of technology
  12. Understand and apply the most innovative and effective practice from across the world through forming new international university partnerships, joining international education networks and creating educational alliances
  13. Continue a programme of capital investment to upgrade all of our physical learning spaces to meet the changing needs of our student community and invest in major new learning spaces to ensure postgraduates and undergraduates have the best spaces possible
  14. Review working practices on campus with the aim to improve the efficiency of how we use the learning spaces available whilst maintaining high levels of student engagement with their studies
  15. Upgrade our virtual learning environment, learning management systems, student portal, on-line course management system and mobile and video capability
  16. Provide specialist systems for postgraduate researchers, building on the Exeter MyPGR relationship management system, to facilitate greater collaborative learning across disciplines and across institutional research partners such as GW4
  17. Provide students with personalised dashboards and predictive analytics using big data to allow them to monitor their own progress against their cohort and the achievements of previous successful alumni
  18. Bring our world-leading education and research to tens of thousands of new learners across the world through the development of Massive Open On-line Courses (MOOCs)
  19. Introduce a new module in digital literacy into our ASPIRE suite of programmes and support out educators to develop digital literacy (a confidence to appraise a range of possible technology tools and solutions, decide which is best for the situation, and then know how to use it to best effect)
  20. Create a team of student Technology Champions to support student and staff technology skills through professional development events, resources and advice.
  1. Continue to build our new inter-disciplinary programmes in Natural Sciences, Liberal Arts, and Medical Sciences, and carry out a review of our most diverse and flexible multi-disciplinary programme in Flexible Combined Honours offered at both our Exeter and Cornwall campuses.
  2. Develop new programmes and modular options in quantitative social sciences methods, through the ESRC supported Q-Step initiative.
  3. Conduct a review of the administrative barriers to multi- and inter-disciplinary programmes of study that cross College administrative boundaries, and make recommendations for actions to remove the barriers and facilitate expansion.
  4. Grow the numbers of students engaged in our flagship first year ‘Grand Challenges’ multi-disciplinary, inquiry-led team learning experience, and provide students with the opportunity to gain credit for successful completion of the week-long programme as part of their academic award.
  5. Continue to support the extension of sustainability literacy within the curriculum as part of our institutional commitment to sustainability.
  6. Review postgraduate taught programmes to explore the market demand for multi-disciplinary programmes that address contemporary global challenges.
  7. Commission a report on multi-disciplinary learning at the University and make the necessary reforms, within and across disciplines to ensure all students have the opportunity to experience it.
  8. Develop Discipline or College plans for either curricular or co-curricular opportunities to enable students to apply their disciplinary knowledge, epistemology and ontology to contemporary challenges, complementing research projects, voluntary work and employment.