Priority E: To Articulate a Distinctive Model for Education at Exeter
While addressing the four priorities above, there is an opportunity to look holistically at our offer and seek to achieve more than a series of incremental enhancements. In doing so, it is important that we build on our strengths while learning from Universities around the world who are leading change or are established examples of excellence.
Our commitment is therefore to conduct further consultation and market research to inform the articulation of what we believe will be a distinctive model for education at Exeter. We will soft-launch and pilot some elements of this in 2020/21 and 2021/22 and, if the weight of evidence supports it, market a distinctive offering in 2022/2023.
The principles of the outline model are as follows:
- At undergraduate level to continue to offer professional accredited and single honours degrees and to develop a portfolio of ‘liberal studies’ programmes (an evolution and extension of our current combined honours and interdisciplinary programmes). All programmes should, by default, be able to integrate periods of study in industry and/or abroad of flexible duration.
- The ‘liberal studies’ portfolio of programmes are conceived as enabling students to study the same subject areas as professional and specialist programmes alongside thematic minors and with the option to create a longitudinal portfolio.
- Thematic minors would promote structured engagement in interdisciplinary study and include minors focused on future careers and graduate-level employment. These can build on current ‘with proficiency’ offerings (Language; Applied Data Analysis; Entrepreneurship); however, the scope can be much broader and proposals that emerged through consultation included: Creativity; Inter-Cultural Competence; Sustainability.
- An assessed longitudinal portfolio would enable students to capture their personal engagement with research, impact and societal engagement related to their programme. In addition to being the natural home for capstone research projects, this would also be the location for engagement with Grand Challenges, Green Consultants, Think-Try-Do, etc. The curated portfolio would represent a component of degree assessment.
- At postgraduate level, a similar thematic minor model would be available with explicit focus on career readiness for business, industry and third-sector organisations across the spectrum of sectors that we face through our research and impact: e.g. ‘leadership in Creative Industries’; ‘management in Biotechnology’; ‘proficiency in data science and artificial intelligence’; etc.
- All programmes – undergraduate and postgraduate – should plan and design learning and teaching with an explicit aim of continual development of learning community, enabling students to engage in effective face to face and online social learning, and to lay foundations for community cohesion and positive wellbeing.