Thursday, 2 April 2009

Week of perspectives

This week has been very interesting, with the start of it at Warwick University for the HE in FE conference. Although I have not got a direct link with Staffordshire University partners, obviously partner input is vital for the project and the university as a whole. I found the different partnership methods used very interesting, plus the attitudes of some of the partner insitutions. I was surprised to hear that some partnerships are more competitive with others in the partnership than I would expect. I heard a fair bit around how universities should adapt to fit more of the FE environment (use their quality assurance rather than imposing second ones being the main issue), and when asked about adapting to a private, business, model they realised that they hadn't considered the impact of requirements of employers and the changing nature of HE in FE with the Fds as they perhaps aught. This then goes back to how flexible do institutions need to be to continue delivering learning in the emerging environment? Do we need to ensure that assessment boards etc run throughout the year? Should we be delivering learning throughout the year? Should we be matching private providers delivery of courses over a business 37 hour week? Is it even possible? Do changes need to be driven by government or can insititutions drive the change? A lot of questions, and not many answers. I am interested on how these questions get answered here at Staffordshire Uni, do they fit with the development of partnerships that we have in the University strategy? I would say yes, and a big part is the Enable project in enabling (sorry) these changes to happen. It is important not just for the partners but also for the university.

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