At the University of Northampton we are planning and delivering positive change to benefit our students, our staff and the wider community. The diagram below captures the key elements of this change.
The central tenets of the AshokaU Changemaker Campus sit in the middle of the diagram. These principles inform everything we do at Northampton. The critical success factors from the Raising the Bar strategic plan form the following ring. Six overarching aims are stated in the white section and the result of meeting those aims is shown in the outer ring.
Let’s zoom into the six aims. Scaling up CPD (bottom of the diagram), leading to qualifications and accreditation in HE learning and teaching, is central to an outstanding student experience. Within the new CPD framework, staff will be given opportunities to engage in a variety of flexible interventions to gain both qualifications and accreditation. These opportunities will be fully aligned with their academic work.
Online and blended provision (top of the diagram) will be a major part of Northampton’s focus in the next 7 years. We must do this incrementally and in highly innovative ways if we are to achieve scalability and excellence in flexible learning. This component of the model could significantly change the way we work.
The use of high quality content from established repositories, as well as our contributions to them, will enable the university to be on the global map of open educational resources and associated practices (top-right of the diagram). There are two aspects to this: the enhancement of learning and teaching and global visibility. Small Open Online Courses (SOOCs) are already being developed and piloted.
The university will continue to develop its profile in the field of research and enterprise (bottom-right of the diagram) via research outputs, external funding and consultancy work. This includes social enterprise initiatives regionally, nationally and internationally, with industry and students as partners.
Market growth, through global partnerships and innovative offerings for different modes of study will meet the needs of our diverse student body (bottom-left). In this way, we will upskill individuals, engage communities and build additional bridges to bring benefit to the region and beyond.
The University of Northampton’s move to the new Waterside Campus adds a complex set of challenges and unique opportunities. To maximise the benefit of this ambitious project to our students, colleagues, the local community and the HE sector, we must think very carefully about what constitutes optimal physical and virtual learning spaces within a fit-for-purpose, sustainable campus (top-left).
The thinking and the planning have started. Let us join the debate for an exciting, inclusive and successful project.
Professor Alejandro Armellini
Director, Institute of Learning and Teaching in Higher Education
University of Northampton
4 July 2013