Final Remarks

Just over a year ago, the University of Derby became the first institution in the country to sign a memorandum of understanding with Higher Education organisation Advance HE, committing to put its students at the heart of the learning experience by embedding the agency’s best practice framework in all of its programmes.

By adopting the Student Success Framework, we have been working to create a more consistent and integrated approach to our curriculum design, as well as enhancing our digital offering, enabling students to develop their skills as independent learners and become true game-changers.

Using this framework, and building on the success of winning the Teaching and Learning Strategy of the Year accolade at the Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards 2018, we have been focused on offering our students a transformational learning and teaching experience; ensuring they have access to high-quality teaching, employability and a curriculum related to research.

Our efforts to improve teaching and enhance learning were reflected in our success in the Guardian University Guide 2020, where we were rated joint third out of 121 institutions for the number of students satisfied with teaching quality – a jump of 18 places for the metric.

Our Learning and Teaching strand at the University has also been strengthened by securing another National Teaching Fellowship in Fiona Shelton, Dean of Students and Head of the University’s Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching. This now takes us up to six and recognises, at the very highest level, our contribution to teaching excellence.

Headshot of Professor Malcolm Todd smiling

Alongside improving our learning and teaching offer, we are continuously working to make Higher Education accessible to all.

Professor Malcolm Todd
Deputy Vice-Chancellor/Provost (Academic and Student Experience)

All of this is providing us with a platform to build our next Learning and Teaching Strategy, which will be launched in 2020, and will be a bold statement that is aligned to our University Strategic Framework of being ‘an applied university of today and for tomorrow’.

Alongside improving our learning and teaching offer, we are continuously working to make Higher Education accessible to all.

At the start of the new academic year, our Access and Participation Plan, a formal requirement which sets out how Higher Education providers will improve equality of opportunity for underrepresented groups to access, succeed in and progress from Higher Education, was accepted by the Office for Students. I am proud of the work that has gone into this because it sets us some challenging targets to reduce and eliminate differentials in attainment, particularly for Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) students.

Higher Education is becoming increasingly competitive and fast moving. Universities are expected to prove their value and demonstrate exactly where student fees are spent. Derby has been working very closely with students to develop a transparent articulation of this and it is crucial we show where we are investing in the quality of the student experience through teaching quality and resources.

Demonstrating our purpose as a university and the positive impact we have on our city and county is also imperative to us. While we recognise our worth, we need our stakeholders and partners to join us in recognising our role in raising aspirations, improving skills and adding value to the lives of everyone in our region.

Professor Malcolm Todd
Deputy Vice-Chancellor/Provost
(Academic and Student Experience)