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Advancing our learning and teaching

Like any successful organisation, the University of Wolverhampton appreciates that firm foundations are essential for future growth and advancement.

During 2009, we accomplished a great deal in order to consolidate and strengthen our position. A review and refocus of our core curriculum, and the academic framework in which it is delivered, has ensured that our staff and students can all benefit from an enriched learning environment.

Strong academic foundations

We believe that we have excellent academic foundations to underpin learning and teaching across the University. This belief was confirmed by national education watchdogs, the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA). Following their official inspection, the QAA highly commended the University’s academic quality and standards.

The audit team expressed their confidence in the management of academic standards and the high quality of learning experiences available to students. Several areas of good practice were highlighted, including study skills support, Learning and Information Services and IT Services, as well as the work of the Quality and Academic Standards Division.

Students voice their approval

Further evidence that we have successfully built on our core strengths came from our students, who registered their approval in the National Student Survey 2009. The Survey revealed that student satisfaction had increased at the University for the second year running, with overall satisfaction rising from 76% in 2008 to 78% in 2009.

Our students placed the University’s learning resources as above the national average, with 84% of students saying they were satisfied compared to the national average of 80%.

The University also maintained a high satisfaction rate for access to IT facilities, with 90% of students saying they could access facilities whenever they needed to. In addition, 80% of students reported that they were satisfied with the teaching on their course.

A responsive curriculum

In 2009 the University launched Learning Works, which reviewed and refocused all our undergraduate courses. We responded to input from students, employers and professional bodies, simplified our course structures, clarified our course content and reviewed all our course titles.

The result is an enriched undergraduate portfolio which draws upon our past and present successes, and places an increased focus on employability. To equip our students for the world they face upon graduating, the curriculum promotes three graduate attributes: digital literacy, knowledge and enterprise, and global citizenship, thus giving rise to the Wolverhampton Graduate.

New Schools of thought

The School of Humanities, Languages and Social Sciences and the School of Legal Studies joined forces to form the new School of Law, Social Sciences and Communications. Students now benefit from being part of a bigger School with more resources, a larger peer group and greater cross-fertilisation of ideas between complementary disciplines.

The School of Health became responsible for the subject areas of Social Work and Social Care, forming the new School of Health and Wellbeing. Students now benefit from greater inter-disciplinary learning across these related fields.

Mastering new skills

One of the first postgraduate initiatives of its kind, Masters+ was launched by the University in 2009. As part of our commitment to increasing the employability and leadership skills of our graduates, Masters+ delivers a set of skills workshops designed to develop the career potential of postgraduates.

The pioneering Masters+ programme provides students with practical, contemporary and industry driven courses not typically delivered within a taught postgraduate course.

Industry conscious Institutes

2009 saw the creation of two new industry focused Institutes. The Institute of Gaming and Animation and the Institute of Media Arts were formed to address industry demand to deliver cutting-edge technology and design solutions underpinned with expert knowledge and internationally recognised research.

The Institutes will advance the design and delivery of undergraduate and postgraduate courses, placing a clear emphasis on industrial and commercial relevance in order to produce capable graduates with the potential to shape the future of Britain’s media and creative industries.

Nursing exemplary practice

During their annual monitoring exercise for 2009, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) praised the standard of nursing education at the University of Wolverhampton.

The University’s approach to practice placement learning received particular praise and was officially judged as ‘outstanding’, having achieved a consistently high performance. As a result of the inspection, the School of Health and Wellbeing was invited to share its expertise in this area at the NMC national conference.