Through the work of the Joint APC/QMC Working Party, the following courses were given permission to be at variance with the 20-credit Framework for Undergraduate and Integrated Master’s Study as approved by Senate.
(List to be inserted) BEng and MEng Electrical and Mechanical Engineering – these courses carry dual accreditation and therefore require a higher credit load to meet professional accreditation requirements.
5.1 Does the Faculty have any high level reflections on the impact of the introduction of the 20-credit framework? Where 20 credit modules are timetabled over both semesters, some special 10 credit class codes were created for students taking these modules for one semester and studying abroad for the other, or for those coming to Strathclyde on exchange for one semester.
The structuring of language teaching into 40 credits per year (one 20 credit module per semester) has resulted in the withdrawal of Engineering courses ‘with European Studies’. It was not possible to offer courses which still fulfilled accreditation requirements without requiring students to study 160 credits per year. Departments have replaced these courses with ‘International Study’ versions which include a period of overseas study but have no requirement to take a foreign language.
The Faculty was permitted to use superclasses made up of 10 credit subclasses, which meant that it was possible to continue with shared teaching of key modules across departments, and to offer flexibility of choice to fourth and fifth year students. It also ensured that the international student market was not affected as they are generally attracted by a wide choice of modules. Chinese students in particular want a long list of subjects detailed on their transcripts. Registry schedules for Engineering need to be adapted to show superclass and subclass marks for the Exam Boards. The Faculty Office is working with Registry to achieve this.
There are concerns within the Faculty that the 20 credit structure will impede the desire for greater flexibility and multidisciplinarity in teaching.
5.2 Please describe any changes to the Faculty’s portfolio of degree programmes that were implemented in session 2008/09 (additions/deletions). Please outline the rationale behind any such changes. New Undergraduate Degrees approved in 2007-08
(i) BSc in Production Engineering and Management (DMEM)
DMEM introduced this degree in response to industrial needs. During the 20 credit restructuring, the department rationalised its undergraduate courses down to four, and will no longer recruit to the MEng/BEng in Design Computing, MEng/BEng in Engineering and Enterprise Management, BSc in Enterprise and Technology Management and MEng/BEng in Manufacturing Engineering and Technology.
(ii) BEng in Engineering Studies (Faculty Degree)
The regulations for the BEng in Engineering Studies were substantially revised to address the problem of students failing compulsory classes in early years after four attempts. As an alternative to withdrawal, students may be transferred to the Engineering Studies degree which is an exit qualification only. The existing regulations were modified to remove the Honours year and allowed for flexibility in electives and options. A CertHE award was included to cover Prosthetics and Orthotics students, as there is no specific award below Honours otherwise available to them.
Withdrawn Undergraduate Degrees
(i) BSc in Environmental Protection and Pollution Control (Civil Engineering)
This course was withdrawn due to small numbers and staff retirals. Enrolment had been suspended in 2005 and there were no students on the course.
(ii) BEng in Chemical Engineering with Process Biotechnology (Chemical Engineering)
This course was withdrawn because of falling demand.
(iii) BEng Civil Engineering with European Studies (Civil Engineering)
The course had not attracted sufficient students to ensure viability and it was difficult to timetable the language classes. It may be replaced with a BEng Civil Engineering with International Study.
(iv) BEng Electronic Engineering (EEE)
The course was set up in anticipation of collaboration with Singapore Polytechnic which had not progressed. The course had never run and any future collaboration would be based on a new thematic degree that would be developed.
New Postgraduate Degrees approved in 2007-08
(i) MRes Building Design and Management for Sustainability (Architecture)
Architecture developed this course in response to demand from existing undergraduate students, practicing architects and others involved with the built environment, particularly from overseas who are looking for educational and research opportunities in this area.
(ii) MSc Ship and Offshore Structures (NAME)
This course was developed in recognition of the demand for specialised courses in Naval Architecture, particularly from overseas students.
(iii) MSc Power Plant Technologies (Mechanical Engineering)
This is a full time version of the successful MSc in Power Plant Engineering introduced in September 2008. There was demand from overseas students for a full time version.
(iv) MRes Wind Energy Systems (EEE)
This course was set up as the first step for students accepted to study a new EPSRC-funded PhD in Wind Energy Systems. The students study for four years and undertake intensive taught training as well as research. Since there are no regulations for a four year PhD at Strathclyde, students take an MRes in the first year and then progress to a PhD for the remaining three years.
(v) MSc Geotechnics (joint with Glasgow University) (Civil Engineering)
This course replaced one of the same name awarded solely by Strathclyde. The University of Glasgow had been contributing to the teaching and the academic content of the new course renained unchanged. The joint agreement formalised the existing collaboration between the Civil Engineering Departments creating a joint degree under the umbrella of Glasgow Research Partnership in Engineering.
(vi) MSc Global Water Sustainability (joint with Glasgow University) (Civil Engineering)
This course is administered by the University of Glasgow and draws on the complementary expertise of staff at both universities.
Withdrawn Postgraduate Degrees
(i) MArch Advanced Architectural Design (Architecture)
This was superseded by another course with the same name and different course code. There were no students on the course, which had not run since 2004/05.
(ii) MSc Applied Biomechanics (Distance Learning) (Bioengineering)
The Course Director had left the University and recruitment had been falling since 2003.
(iii) Masters in Technology Management (DMEM)
This course had failed to attract sufficient numbers and the staff members who had developed it had left the University.
This course only ran for one year in 2004/05 and had since not attracted any students.
(v) MSc Integrated Building Design Studies (Architecture)
The course had attracted small numbers in 2003–2006, and had not enrolled any students since.
(vi) MSc Strategic Urban Design (Architecture)
The course had only one student in 2004/05, and none since. It was no longer running.
(vii) MSc Urban Design (Architecture)
This course had been superseded by a new MSc in Urban Design with a different course code. There were no students on the old version of the course.
(viii) MSc Sustainable Development of the Urban Environment (Civil Engineering)
This was part of the Faculty package of Sustainable Engineering courses. The course had not attracted any students in the last three years and was no longer viable.
(ix) MSc Geotechnics (Civil Engineering)
This course was replaced by a similar degree of the same name run jointly with the University of Glasgow. The course attracted ten students in 2008/09.
5.3 Please highlight any major external factors (government initiatives, policies of specific client groups) that impacted in 2008/09 on the Faculty’s degree programmes and indicate how the Faculty dealt with them. The current economic circumstances have affected the availability of industrial placements and summer placements.
The Architecture department made extra effort to counsel students and provide support where necessary as fewer undergraduate students were able to secure placements with architecture practices, and some had to take part time instead of full time placements.
Organised by the Department’s Industry Liaison Officer, Chemical Engineering has run a very successful and long-standing placement scheme. The department can no longer guarantee an industrial placement to all undergraduate students, and now offers year 5 students an industrial placement, Socrates placement or departmental research project, to carry out their final project work. Obtaining industrial group projects for postgraduate students has also become much more difficult. As an alternative, some students were given an industrial-focused group project which is based in the department.
Only 38 Civil Engineering students went on summer placements in 2009, which was much lower than in previous years. Development of placement opportunities for students in years 1 and 2 was also limited by the economic climate, but work on this will continue.
The DMEM Careers and Placements Coordinator has a role to enhance links with companies to develop placements and internships, which sometimes lead to sponsorship in final year or job offers before they finish their degree. Summer placements after years 2, 3 and 4 are encouraged. Despite the economic climate, there were 44 students on summer placement in summer 2009. It was still possible to offer group projects in industry where students learn to apply their knowledge in a real context, communicate with professionals and meet a brief. Four students also completed a 6 month placement in industry.
5.4 Please comment on any significant changes in Teaching Learning and Assessment (for example in curriculum design and/or modes of delivery/assessment) in session 2008/09. Postgraduate Architecture students undertake a design project in which reviews include invited experts in particular design and client fields subject to the student project theme. They attend initial and interim presentations as well as the final examination. This is an example of a department enhancing the level of feedback given to students, since feedback from external professionals may be common in other areas, but feedback from potential ‘customers’ is rare.
Architecture is refocusing on self learning to develop undergraduate student independence, which was identified as a key issue throughout the cohort. A series of initiatives was introduced to bring this about. The clarification of assessment criteria has resulted in students working to these criteria and there was a general improvement in the standard of work. New studio director posts (part time) were introduced and this was very successful. They act as year advisers and spend much of their time teaching in the studio. There was more coherence in the team running the courses.
In Chemical Engineering there was reinforcement and broadening of the introduction to design in year 1. Extensive use was made of LearnOnline and online quizzes were extended across several years. Classes involve guest lecturers from industry to provide relevant real-life experience to reinforce what is learned in lectures and tutorials. There were various site visits for third year students and the major fourth year design project was redesigned to incorporate BEng students. A new 20-credit model in fifth year was developed for delivery from 09/10 to give students experience of advanced topics in chemical engineering. A meeting of all staff was arranged in May 09 with CAPLE to discuss teaching development. There have been regular meetings of the teaching committee since, covering all elements of teaching delivery.
Civil Engineering developed a postgraduate air pollution control case study with input from SEPA and Inneos Ltd. Three modules had direct engagement with the Commonwealth Games, Scottish Water and SEPA, including site visits and case studies. Laboratory facilities were upgraded to include sophisticated trace/ organic/ isotope detection and molecular biological methodologies. These facilities are available to students for their project research and were used in the Environmental Forensics module giving students training and exposure in the lab to state-of-the-art-techniques. This is an example of students benefitting from research funded equipment.
DMEM invested in a new Digital Design and Manufacturing studio. This created a step change in the facilities available and a number of modules are now taught using the new equipment. New teaching methodologies are now possible as students have direct access to the design side and instant creation of components and products enabling extremely rapid product development. New equipment to support teaching and project work was purchased, including a new laser cutter purchased jointly with Mechanical Engineering for the Digital Design and Manufacture Studio, and a £100,000 Objet printer. EEE, Architecture, NCPO and external bodies have also benefitted from the use of this equipment.
The department also revised the teaching of the Design, Management and Manufacturing modules to make them more stimulating and link them better with practical workshops. These will be introduced in 09/10. Visiting ‘Innovation Champions’ (young designers from companies) taught some first year workshops to enhance the design content and introduce more critical thinking. The Advanced Forming Research Centre was launched in 08/09, and already some final year projects are coming from companies involved in this initiative. It is anticipated that more linkages will come from the Centre as it develops.
EEE continued its investment in new teaching labs and opened a new energy lab (R4.20) in 08/09. Provision of the new lab has improved undergraduate lab teaching with state-of-the-art equipment enabling new project work to be undertaken. A EEE postgraduate class in Renewable Energy Technologies was piloted in semester 1. Following feedback the class has been moved to semester 2. The high quality research done in the department informs the content and the delivery of the teaching; a particular example is the Electronic and Multimedia systems module in which laboratory and practical work is derived from current research activity in multimedia communications. A new wind power technology module was introduced as a result of the department’s high profile expertise in wind energy and the launch of the DTC in wind energy.
Additional group activities were introduced into year 1 of Naval Architecture courses to improve engagement between students and staff and to highlight practical applications and the relevance of the course in earlier years. Attendance by first and second year students increased, leading to corresponding improvements in marks and pass rates; some group exercises were particularly beneficial. The introduction of additional mathematics support involving senior students appears to have been successful.
NCPO developed online tutorials on spinal and upper limb anatomy teaching via WebCT. To increase the quality of delivery of classroom based teaching, the department invested in four new smart boards and a portable interactive response system.
5.5 Please comment with respect to 2008/09 on
the Faculty’s approach (other than through the revision of courses for the introduction of the 20-credit framework) to embedding employability in the curriculum and in its teaching, learning and assessment strategies, and generally to developing graduate attributes
The accreditation criteria of the Engineering professional bodies require aspects of employability to be built into the curriculum. There are numerous examples of activities and teaching to develop graduate attributes in the Faculty’s courses. All courses allow students to participate in Erasmus or IAESTE exchange programmes if they are performing to a satisfactory standard in their studies. International study broadens the students’ experience and is attractive to employers.
A number of engineering students won prestigious prizes in 2008/09, which was a further indication of quality and development of graduate attributes. A few examples are listed below:
A fifth year Building Design Engineering student won the IStructE International Design Competition. A 2007 BDE graduate was second in the same competition in the under 30 category.
A third year BSc Architectural Studies student won the Scottish Women in Architecture prize.
Two third year Architecture students won second prize in the Nationwide Sustainable Housing Competition.
Four third year students from EEE were awarded Engineering Leadership Advanced Awards from the Royal Academy of Engineering. These prestigious awards provide extensive personal and financial support for enhanced professional experience, before and after graduation.
A Naval Architecture student received a prize from SUT/BP for the best MSc project in subsea engineering in the UK.
Another Naval Architecture student was awarded a prize by SUT/Fugro Geos for the best undergraduate project in subsea engineering in the UK.
any new initiatives in relation to the Faculty’s engagement with the quality enhancement themes and other developments in Learning and Teaching.
The studio environment in Architecture was restructured to encourage peer learning across the five years of the Part 1 and Part 2 course by introducing themes to the two floors of production and reflection. MSc Urban Design and MArch students work together bringing their different expertise which is proving very successful and is a great reciprocal enhancement. The team work across the year, incorporating swaps to maximise the learning experience, is a new and successful teaching innovation. There was positive feedback from Glasgow City Council and the Glasgow Institute of Architects for the standard of postgraduate Architecture studio work and engagement with community and public groups.
Work done by the Urban Design Research Unit is embedded in the MSc in Urban Design and students learn innovative approaches to analysis and design as well as new software and platforms.
Chemical Engineering plans to expand its Visiting Professor complement from 1 to 3. They serve to inform students and staff about current industrial practice and provide invaluable advice and support to teaching. Guest lecturers provide significant industrial input to courses and further input is provided through employers’ contributions and feedback to the distance learning undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. Industrial partners offer informal advice to students on careers and personal development at the annual Careers Day hosted by the Department. Direct careers advice (including CV preparation) is provided by the Careers Service at departmental information sessions to each year group on the first day of the session and through year-specific, targeted careers sessions each semester. The Department offers a number of summer placements for undergraduate students to work with research staff on a full-time basis for 8 weeks, to give them a ‘taster’ of research activity. The students give presentations to staff and students at the end of the placement.
Civil Engineering introduced a Level 5 module in Recycling Urban Land which involved problem based learning with mixed groups of students from 13 different undergraduate and postgraduate degree courses. The module was rated poorly by students, but after graduation, many Masters students commented that it had turned out to be very useful preparation for working in industry with multi disciplinary teams. The module will be revised to take into account feedback received and offered again in 09/10. There is involvement from students and staff in Engineers without Borders. The Careers Service ran a one day event in the department for all PGI students (also open to PGR students) which covered CV preparation and creativity in job searching. Students found the event very helpful and it will be repeated in semester 2 of 09/10.
DMEM runs industrial group projects for fourth and fifth year undergraduate students. Twenty-eight companies were involved in 08/09. The companies prepared industrial briefs and the students reported back regularly to the companies which helps students learn to apply their knowledge in a real context and communicate with professionals. Project Coordinators and the Careers and Placements Coordinator work with industrial contacts to ensure the students’ experience prepares them for work so they are ready for their first job after graduating. All DMEM Masters courses also include an industry based group project where the company sets a task, students work as a team and the company reviews progress and the final result. This is another example of students getting feedback from industrial partners on their work throughout the final year. To enhance employability the Department ensures engagement with industry starts early. Integrating Studies lectures include CV preparation and aim to give students a background in preparing for employment from first year. Transferable skills are also covered throughout the courses.
The EEE undergraduate Professional Studies and Integrating Studies modules cover CV preparation, careers advice and personal development and these are discussed further in first year small group tutorials. Fourth year students provide a CV to their supervisors when submitting their interim reports and they are then given feedback on it. Application for the Power Academy and other scholarships includes CV submission and interview, which gives the students valuable experience in making applications. For the Scholarship Programmes, students attend assessment centres both in the department and externally.
Some EEE postgraduate classes started using Turnitin software for assessments in an attempt to help educate students as to what constitutes plagiarism. A new weekly learning and assessment seminar series was introduced for EEE postgraduate students. This included a session from the Careers Service, report writing, tips on exam preparation, plagiarism, assessment criteria and presentation skills. Feedback on these classes was very positive and the series will be developed further for 09/10.
NAME runs a Marine Careers Fair every year for all students. This is supported by a third year class on professional development and guidance from the Careers Service. Marine companies set up displays in the Department for one day and students were able to meet company representatives. Rooms were available for interviews. Students appreciate the industrial lectures and visits, both for the technical content and the opportunity to make contact with various companies. This is particularly important for the overseas students who want to work in the UK after graduation. NAME received £250K funding for a new Marine Fuel Cell laboratory which will be used for teaching and research.
any changes made in respect of learning and teaching arising from the recommendations of departmental reviews undertaken in the previous two sessions (i.e. 2006/07 and 2007/08) and evaluate their success in addressing the issues raised by the review.
Chemical Engineering (Review May 2008)
The Department now allocates more teaching responsibilities to PhD students, Post Docs and Research Fellows, with the necessary training provided beforehand. This has released more time for academic staff to undertake research. A Director of Teaching has been appointed with excellent success.
DMEM (Review April 2007)
The Department has rationalised its undergraduate course portfolio to develop more commonality and improve teaching efficiency. Course development teams reduced the number of undergraduate courses from seven to four and developed a set of common core modules during the 20 credit restructuring process. The Department has enhanced its policy for returning marks and feedback – see item 4.9 above. Students are fully informed of PDP requirements by year advisors and Integrating Studies registrars, and a statement on PDP is included in student handbooks and web pages.
NAME (Review April 2007)
The Department was advised to consider carefully the place of the BSc in Nautical Sciences within the course portfolio, particularly with regard to the quality and volume of future intakes. From 08-09 there were no further admissions to the first year of this course. There were problems relating to undergraduate student satisfaction which related to the availability of staff who were involved in teaching in Singapore. Teaching at overseas institutions was terminated in 07/08.
The Department organises weekend sport and social activities and mixes students with different backgrounds in group project work. This has improved the integration of student cohorts including those articulating from international and other sources.
the steps taken in the Faculty to enhance teaching, learning and assessment in accordance with the strategic aims identified in the Academic Strategy?
The Faculty’s new Course Review process highlights more effectively the good practice in departments which will be disseminated to the Faculty through Teaching and Learning Forum events.
A new training course for PhD students on Writing for Peer Reviewed Journals was developed by members of the Faculty Research Committee in partnership with CAPLE and piloted in 08/09. This was successful and 12 research papers were published as a result. Following feedback, the course will be revised and delivered again in 09/10 as part of the Faculty’s portfolio of training for PhD students.
how the 12 assessment principles have been used to review and improve assessment?
The Faculty has ensured that all Heads of Department and Course Directors are fully aware of the 12 principles of assessment. It is anticipated that there will be changes to assessment throughout the Faculty as the 20 credits structure becomes implemented, and it is intended that the module descriptor forms will be edited to include a section on how the new principles have influenced the assessment criteria outlined for the module.
5.6 Please provide examples of good practice in teaching, learning and assessment that came to light in session 2008/09 through annual monitoring which might have relevance to other parts of the University.
DMEM have found that KTP projects not only provide equipment for wider use in the department but the industrial linkages generated often provide opportunities for student industrial projects.
DMEM Research Methodology teaching developed for research students is made available to Masters students before they undertake their individual projects, which is beneficial.
5.7 What issues arose from annual monitoring? What actions were taken to deal with them?
As indicated in the NSS, a key issue for students in all departments was that they had to wait too long for feedback on assessments. Departments took action as outlined in section 4.2 above. The Faculty will continue to address this issue in 09/10 through the appointment of departmental Feedback Coordinators and meetings with students to discuss feedback, conducted by the Associate Dean Academic who will take up office as Vice Dean Academic from 1 August 2010.
The DMEM Course Team is rationalising the postgraduate course portfolio to enhance efficiency of teaching administration as well as marketability. The postgraduate course review will be completed in 09/10 and will examine the content of management modules and clarify the topics within them so that gaps and overlaps can be identified. The depth of some modules will also be improved.
5.8 Did the Faculty identify any issues to do with undergraduate, postgraduate instructional or postgraduate research programmes which might have implications at University level? If so, please detail. There are problems with accredited degrees which usually contain a high proportion of compulsory classes. Now that the award criteria are fully SCQF compliant, there are problems for students who carry compulsory classes to the next academic year. If these classes are not passed, the student cannot get 360/480 credits “from the course curriculum” and the Faculty has had to introduce a non-accredited Engineering Studies degree.
This has not proved popular with students, especially company-sponsored mature students on the BSc in Environmental Health who now find themselves unable to obtain a professional qualification.
5.9 Please comment on the Faculty’s approach to monitoring Continuing Professional Development/Lifelong Learning and highlight any significant issues that arose in session 2008/09. Bioengineering launched an online MRes in Medical Technology in 08/09 which was developed because the number of junior medical staff in full time PG education was falling. The degree offers a real alternative to the conventional research degree for junior doctors, enabling them to study a formal qualification without taking time out from their career path. The course is also be suitable for those in para-medical specialities and fits with the University strategy of widening access and flexible delivery. In developing the online elements of the course, the Course Team drew on expertise in the Science Faculty which was already delivering a web-based MSc degree.
The Industrial and Power Association were heavily involved in defining the curriculum and also deliver industrial lectures for the MSc Power Plant Engineering, a part time course delivered to 134 Doosan Babcock employees and 6 other students. Not all generic modules are available for block delivery but this is being addressed by the Graduate School of Engineering.
A new post of Vice Dean Knowledge Exchange was created, and appointment was made from 1 August 2009. An audit of Knowledge Exchange activities in the Faculty is underway.
5.10 Please comment on examples of good practice in Continuing Professional Development/Lifelong Learning that might have relevance to other parts of the University. The Faculty will develop an MRes in Engineering in 09/10 which it is hoped will increase the uptake and completion of research degrees in time for the next REF. The generic course will allow any Engineering department to select students with the approval of the Vice Dean Research. It is anticipated that the course will be of interest to people working in industry who do not want to commit three years for a PhD.
6 Resources 6.1 Was the University’s provision of learning resources (library/IT provision, teaching accommodation etc) adequate? If not, were improvements sought and effected? The variable quality of the Faculty’s estate is potentially a major impediment. The Faculty welcomes the investment that will be made in Engineering facilities through EDF2 and will work closely with Estates management on the detailed planning aspects of EDF2. The Faculty has seen continued growth in its UG and PG recruitment numbers, particularly within Chemical and Process Engineering and Mechanical Engineering. This has created some timetabling difficulties as departments are having to seek alternative rooms in which to teach their classes to accommodate these increased numbers.
EEE reported that student numbers have been growing in the Electrical and Mechanical Engineering degrees and the fourth year cohort is now larger than ever before. This raises issues regarding space requirements for projects and common room areas. The department is addressing this in conjunction with Estates.
Mechanical Engineering reported that support has been adequate, although services such as timetabling, room bookings and Registry were stretched in 08/09, and a larger that usual number of errors and delays occurred.
6.2 Were there any potential challenges that might be of interest at an institutional level? The shorter opening hours of the library during the summer vacation may also be affecting part time students from other Faculties.
6.3 Were any specific staff development challenges highlighted? The introduction of Moodle as the centrally supported VLE may necessitate training of staff.
DMEM has started to provide 6 month sabbatical leave to allow for staff development.
7 Graduate Employment In completing this section, Faculties should refer to the standard annual datasets produced by the Careers Service and the Management Information Profiles 7.1 Please comment on any developments in respect of the employment of the Faculty’s graduates (undergraduate, postgraduate instructional and postgraduate research). For the Faculty as a whole, 68% of first degree UK and EU graduates from 2007 had entered employment within six months of graduation. This is 3% less than in 2007. There was an 8.5% increase in those entering further study, to 22.5%. Unemployment rates rose considerably from 4.5% to 14%.
Of first degree graduates who entered employment, 71.5% were working in Scotland, including 28% in Glasgow. There was an increase in the rate of under-employment to 13%, which had been only 7% in 2007. The under-employment rate of those who chose to work in Glasgow was higher at 19%, which was double the rate of the previous year.
Among postgraduate UK and EU students, there was a further decrease in those entering employment from 76% in 2007 to 71% in 2008. Uptake of further study decreased from 15% to 10%, and unemployment trebled to 14%.
The High Fliers Survey 2009 showed that 13.5% fewer graduates will start work with the UK’s leading employers in 2009 than did so in 2008. Competition for places with engineering and industrial employers has almost doubled.
The Faculty is concerned that companies are placing growing emphasis on voluntary placements and internships, which is detrimental to students. More employers are recruiting directly from third year and fourth year placements. Some graduate vacancies are not being published as they are taken by interns and not open to other applicants. Departments are emphasising to students that they should see a summer placement or internship as essential if they want to join companies which recruit in this way.
8 ACCESS FOR DISABLED STUDENTS 8.1 Please comment on the ways in which the Faculty progressed with the duty to provide access to the curriculum for disabled students and on the Faculty’s strategies for implementing the Disability Equality Scheme. In Architecture, the Departmental Disability Coordinator (DDC) briefs all new students on the support and services available in the University and encourages students to drop in to discuss any issues in confidence. Academic staff are directed to the Teachability website for information on creating accessible teaching sessions, field trips, exams/assessment and course/curriculum design. Students have high contact time with Studio Leaders and Studio Tutors and can establish relationships in which they are encouraged to discuss any issues. The contact time includes weekly surgeries, small group meetings and regular reviews of design work.
Bioengineering is situated in the Wolfson building which has no safe disabled refuge areas in the event of a fire. Physically disabled students cannot be safely evacuated from the building which makes the level of risk unacceptable. Estates are aware of this problem. There are not currently any wheelchair users studying or working in the building. The building is fully accessible, but in the event of a fire, evacuation above the ground floor is not possible for someone in a wheelchair. No work is therefore carried out with mobility-impaired patients above the ground floor. A workshop on the use of assistive technology for teaching was delivered by Disability Services to the Bioengineering Department in June 2009. This was very useful in raising staff awareness of the available teaching aids.
In conducting the Teachability Review, Chemical Engineering held an open forum for staff to discuss knowledge and experience in teaching disabled students. A discussion centred on what constituted ‘reasonable adjustments’ led to some positive suggestions which influenced departmental plans for improving accessibility.
Following some issues arising from students not disclosing a disability until the end of semester 1, from 09/10 the Disability Coordinator in Civil Engineering will introduce herself at the induction day so that students know who to contact if they have special needs, particularly if they had not previously disclosed them.
DMEM has a Disability Equality Team headed up by the DDC. This provides ongoing attention to the needs and provision for disabled students.
In Mechanical Engineering some classes were video streamed and put on the web. Video streaming offers new opportunities to help disabled students to study. The Department’s web site is being revised to provide more information to existing and prospective students. Records of the academic performance of disabled students will be tracked.
NAME installed 50 large screen monitors in the main computer laboratory, with priority booking and relevant software for disabled students. All lecture/tutorial material is available in pdf format and the installation of audio loops in project areas is under investigation.
NCPO will continue to implement web based learning in 2009, putting more module teaching online.
8.2 For all academic departments within the Faculty, please note those that completed Teachability reviews of access to the curriculum for disabled students in session 2008/09 and summarise the main action points which emerged. The Architecture Teachability Review was completed in July 2009. The main action points from the Review were:
Training session(s) for staff to be arranged in conjunction with the Disability Service. Suggest training includes raising awareness of mental health issues.
Further promotion of the Teachability web site to all staff. DDC and Course Directors will discuss with Studio Leaders and subject conveners at monthly meetings.
Student Handbooks and materials to be made available online. Arrangements will be in place for the start of the 09/10 session.
Member of academic staff be appointed to work closely with DDC.
Increased contact between DDC and disabled students to ensure that needs are being met. Meetings timetabled in Semesters 1 & 2 in 09/10 session.
DDC to continue to promote the use of Pegasus for information on disabled students to all academic staff at start of each semester. DDC to obtain data on usage from the Disability Service and contact members of staff who are not accessing the information to offer assistance. All staff will be reminded that usage is monitored.
A disabled student representative will be included in the Department’s Student Staff Liaison Group which meets once per semester.
Statistics will be compiled on numbers of disabled applicants, (including offers and acceptances) and progression of disabled students.
All recruitment and marketing material will be reviewed to ensure competence standards and reasonable adjustments are stated.
The Bioengineering Teachability Review Report was submitted on 12 September 2008. The main points requiring action were:
improve awareness of DDC to staff and students
define competence standards for student entry
utilise text captioning on teaching videos
revise course marketing media to explicitly include applicants with disabilities (subject to competence criteria).
The Chemical Engineering Teachability Review Report was approved and accepted by the University in May 2009. The main action points were:
The Department will in future review and monitor accessibility of teaching and assessment for disabled students on a regular basis, via a number of routes. Annual reviews of overall teaching and assessment already take place but future discussion will include a greater focus on accessibility issues, with plans made for resolution of any issues identified.
The DDC will continue to meet regularly on an individual basis with disabled students currently registered for classes within the Department as they prefer this ‘non-threatening’ forum where they can discuss any issues important to themselves. A group meeting could be initiated in future if students request it. Any issues raised will, with the student’s permission, be relayed to the next Departmental Management Group meeting and Departmental meeting for discussion; or by email if requiring immediate attention.
Disability considerations will become a standing item on the agenda of Teaching Committee and general Departmental meetings.
The Department will from 2009 begin to keep records of applications from disabled students.
Disability information in the Staff Handbook will be re-written and expanded for the next edition.
Staff will be encouraged to consider the needs of disabled students when revising teaching materials/exploring new assessment practices; the Department will continue to provide lecture materials in advance on WebCT.
The PDRA/PG laboratory demonstrators training session will include extended and expanded training on disability aspects from 2009-2010.
Two dedicated computer laboratories are provided by the Department for student use; future provision will take note of any special requirements for disabled students.
The Study Abroad Co-ordinator will keep records of any disabled students participating in a study placement abroad and will monitor their performance and collate information. As part of regular visits to partner institutions in Europe the Co-ordinator will start to build up knowledge of partners’ arrangements for disabled personnel, including safety aspects, to ensure comparability with Strathclyde protocols.
The Industry Liaison Manager will keep records of any disabled students who embark on an industry-based placement to complete their final project. Discussion regarding a student’s needs will be initiated with the company, in consultation with the student prior to the placement and appropriate monitoring put in place to ensure that proper facilities and supports are available and the correct risk assessments undertaken, to ensure comparability with Strathclyde protocols.
Staff responsible for the Department website, UG/PG Handbooks and the production of publicity materials will ensure that all information is available in alternative formats if required, and that this is publicised.
Staff responsible for information sessions will ensure that information is available in alternative formats if required, and that the website offers a discreet opportunity to request special arrangements if necessary.
Wherever possible the Department will involve disabled students in relevant issues associated with the teaching/study environment in future and will ensure that any proposed refurbishment of Departmental areas is mindful of disability issues.
The Department will from 2009 begin to keep records of student performance and will compare disabled students’ performance with that of their peer group; this information will be collated and recorded.
The DMEM Teachability Review Report was completed on 28 July 2009. The main action points were.
Establish a top down structure for disseminating information about students with disabilities (e.g. year coordinators, course coordinators, staff mentors, class registrars, class teaching staff, other departments).
Run at least one disability session per year for staff (e.g. briefing for teaching staff in September, discussion of experiences later in the year) and ensure new staff attend.
Construct a knowledge base of best practice, building upon generic recommendations as appearing in PEGASUS. This includes teaching staff leaving reasonable time at the start and end of class to allow students with mobility problems to arrive on time, putting handbooks online in accessible format, encouraging multiple media/methods of delivery (e.g. digital, printed) where possible so as to allow students best choice.
Add/update sections of student handbooks to describe department procedures including sections on Accessibility and Well-being, providing guidance for students with disabilities as well as mental health issues.
Current plans to redesign the department’s studio offer an opportunity to look at the physical learning environment. The studio renovation working group will consider accessibility/disability issues.
Module Review Forms currently used for the end of session review will have a section added for disability related issues.
Class learning outcomes will be reviewed to ensure all students have the potential to meet them (with or without teaching adjustments), and adjusted appropriately whilst maintaining expected competence standards.
DDC or DDC assistant to interview all students registered with Disability Services at the beginning of the academic session to clarify individual needs and ensure PEGASUS records are current. Follow this meetings at the end of Semester 1 will identify any problems or changes required.
Develop a system for recording statistical data regarding students with disabilities (i.e. numbers, disability, adjustments made).
Mechanical Engineering is revising its Teachability Review Report following feedback received from the Disability Service and will resubmit it in 09/10.
The NAME Teachability Review was carried out on 15 December 2008. Suggestions from student staff committee meetings were reviewed. Large screen data projectors will be introduced to support all laboratory classes. PDF lecture presentation materials will be made available on request. PDF reading/writing software will be made available in the NAME computer lab.
The main action points for NCPO were:
ensure all staff are aware and updated on the legislation and departmental policies on Teachability from the University as well as the Disability Equality Scheme and the HPC’s newly published guidelines.
Introduction of an ongoing individually signed record by all staff to show their awareness, commitment and involvement in the processes set out by the University and the department including regular updates and meeting by the DDC.
8.3 Was the Faculty confident that information regarding the needs of disabled students was being conveyed to relevant staff and dealt with appropriately? The DDCs are responsible for monitoring departmental responses to the needs of disabled students. Members of staff are reminded by email of their responsibilities regarding teaching and assessment of disabled students. Issues relating to disability are also raised at regular departmental Teaching and Learning Committee meetings.
Architecture staff reported ongoing problems with students with mental health difficulties who cannot get sufficient support to be able to proceed successfully with their degree. Currently, there is no University guidance on how to help these students and they often end up in and out of suspension and struggling to complete the course. The department is establishing procedures to deal with extreme pastoral issues
The NAME DDC recently retired and a new coordinator was appointed in January 2010. The Head of Department will deal with disability issues in the interim.
NCPO does not screen students for mental health issues as yet. The issue will be re-examined in 09/10, in relation to students’ coping mechanisms in a potentially distressing line of work. To ensure information on disabled students is disseminated properly and that the response to their needs is uniform and appropriately proactive, the DDC and Director of the undergraduate course held staff meetings and are initiating a log of all documentation being read and signed by all staff involved with students to ensure a unified approach.
8.4 For each department within the Faculty, note the arrangements that were in place for seeking feedback from disabled students about accessibility of teaching and teaching materials, and summarise the key points made by disabled students. In 08/09 all 14 Architecture students who had disclosed a disability were contacted by the DDC and invited to meet to discuss the accessibility of teaching and assessment. The DDC met with the 8 students who responded. The question “If you have a disability, please comment on the accessibility of teaching and assessment for this class (course information, lectures, seminars, field trips, reviews, etc.), identifying any barriers” was included in the student feedback form issued to all students at the end of each class.
Feedback from disabled students has generally been very positive and constructive and included the following general comments:
I have a disability but never felt inconvenienced by the course
Excellent (comment on Dissertation feedback from)
Staff support excellent in most classes
Bioengineering circulates a course questionnaire to all students in June via the Staff-Student committee. The questionnaire asks for responses to the accessibility of teaching media, study facilities and work environment. In 08/09 there were no students with disclosed disabilities
The Chemical Engineering DDC has a good relationship with each student and arranges regular meetings with individuals to seek feedback about accessibility of teaching/teaching materials and obtain their opinions, to ensure their needs are being met. Feedback is then highlighted to the Head of Department and other staff and advice sought from Disability Service if appropriate. Individual students indicated their satisfaction with current arrangements for teaching and learning. They particularly like LearnOnline and appreciate this mechanism.
In 08/09, DMEM held meetings with disabled students to discuss provision of an appropriate teaching and learning environment. These are ongoing.
In Mechanical Engineering a questionnaire is sent in December to all students inviting them to provide feedback on teaching and assessment issues with respect to disability and results are collated for the start of semester two. This questionnaire is aimed at students who are disabled in some way but choose not to declare their disability via Pegasus.
With the low number of disabled students in NAME it is felt that informal discussions provide adequate feedback. Nevertheless these issues are now to be included as part of the new online student feedback system in NAME. In 08/09 there were no particular points raised by disabled students.
All NCPO students were happy with arrangements made for them by the department for accessing teaching and teaching materials. The department is designed to allow patients with disability to access it. Feedback was unrelated to disability and will be dealt with by the new department feedback co-ordinator.
9 STUDENT APPEALS/STUDENT COMPLAINTS 9.1 Please provide summary information on student appeals and student complaints dealt with at Faculty level in session 2008/09 (number of instances, outcomes). July 2009 Appeals Committee
Undergraduate: 33 appeals received, of which 61% were upheld
Postgraduate: 18 appeals received, of which 28% were upheld
September 2009 Appeals Committee
Undergraduate: 53 appeals received, of which 30% were upheld
Postgraduate: 2 appeals received, both of which were upheld
Late Appeals received in 2009
Undergraduate: 3 appeals received, of which none were upheld
Postgraduate: 8 appeals received, of which 25% were upheld
The Faculty did not receive any formal complaints during this period.
9.2 Is the Faculty aware of any trends in the number and content of cases? The number of submitted appeals rose by 52% from 77 in 07/08 to 117 in 08/09.
44% were appeals to proceed to the next year of the course carrying more than 20 credits – these are normally rejected
17% were to reattend the year
17% appealed against a decision of withdrawal from the course
75% of appeals were against the award of PgCert or PgDip, requesting to continue to MSc project following failure to meet progression requirements
9.3 Does the Faculty have any reflections on issues arising out of student appeals/complaints?
10 INTERNATIONALISATION 10.1 Please comment on any issues specific to the internationalisation agenda.
Please provide details of specific initiatives to assist with integration of international students.
EEE introduced sessions on plagiarism and progression within the Learning and Assessment seminar series given to undergraduate overseas students. A new weekly learning and assessment seminar series was also introduced for EEE postgraduate students. This included a session from the Careers Service covering advice specific to overseas students on entering the UK jobs market and where to find advice on CV preparation and job advertisements. These weekly seminars help students to feel more included as they gather together and give them the opportunity to meet one of the course directors.
In NAME, 40% of undergraduate students are from overseas. The department again sent two students (one year 1, one year 2) to Harbin in China for one month in the summer to mentor and develop relationships with the incoming articulating students. This proved very helpful in integrating the students into third year as the students who went to China continued to help the Chinese students when they came to Strathclyde.
Are there any particular challenges or problems with the internationalisation of learning that the University should be aware of?
More guidance is needed from the IGO on the quality of foreign institutions and qualifications from them, so that weaker applications can be more easily identified and rejected without risk of rejecting acceptable candidates.
The large Chinese cohort can cause specific issues in EEE. The large number of students coming into third year do not all integrate easily with the existing cohort. Group working can be difficult because of language barriers. The department is developing the induction course to address these specific problems. The student run EEE Society is intending to run social events, with Department support, specifically to integrate incoming overseas students with UK students.
Have there been any particular initiatives to encourage the Faculty’s students to undertake part of their curriculum abroad?
In Architecture there was an increase in students going on exchange: 34 went abroad during the session. The department has reviewed procedures for studying abroad in the light of the introduction of the 20 credit framework and the new degree pathway with International Study.
Chemical Engineering continues its involvement in the Socrates/Erasmus exchange scheme, actively encouraging third year students to take the opportunity to spend a semester or academic session in Europe and outgoing student numbers have expanded considerably. North American and other exchange programmes are also strongly supported.
In 08/09, 42 Mechanical Engineering students went abroad; 20 to Europe and 22 outside Europe. Students compete for places outside Europe with students from the rest of the University, so some exchanges are competitive and not all students are able to go. The fifth year group project to Japan has expanded to two groups and the Mechanical Engineering Department is discussing with EEE how this initiative can be expanded to include EME and EEE students.
Have there been any specific developments to enhance the international dimension in the curriculum?
As well as the Socrates and IAESTE exchanges, the Faculty encourages other internationalisation initiatives. For example:
Postgraduate Environmental Health students have opportunities for international research projects primarily through the university’s links with the university in Malawi.
In DMEM the fifth year Global Design Project is conducted with universities in Australia and the USA.
EEE students undertook solar power projects in the Gambia and Malawi. They were also involved in fund raising projects to support these initiatives.
Two NAME students spent the summer on the Lloyds Register vacation placements scheme. One student had subsequent confirmation of a job after graduation. Three fourth year and two third year students were selected in July 08 for summer placements at Samsung shipyard in Korea, sponsored by Samsung and the IMarEST John Blackburn Main Scholarships. The latter also provided support for a third year student to study at Fincantieri Shipyard in Italy. The Marine Technology Foundation also supported three student placements in the UK and USA.
The third year NCPO students and a member of staff attended the annual visit to Germany to visit the head office, manufacture, design and research facilities of Otto Bock plc, one of the largest rehabilitation companies globally. Otto Bock funded the travel, accommodation and hospitality for this whole visit. Several companies provided sponsorship for the third year summer trip to China. Some students also went to MIT and some to New Zealand on trips organised by smaller groups. Fourth year placements are offered in Norway, Sweden and Eire.
10.2 Have there been any specific issues relating to progress arising out of academic dishonesty on the part of international students. Cheating in exams was a concern for the EEE course team, and the Department has responded by increasing the resources available to the third year to change assessment practices and increase the number of invigilators in formal examinations to twice the number required by the University. Staff recognise the need to take steps to prevent opportunities for academic dishonesty, especially in view of the large number of international students, and assessment methods will be reconsidered to minimise or remove completely opportunities for academic dishonesty.
SECTION B 11 Admissions In completing this section, Faculties should refer to the standard annual datasets produced by the Planning Office. (Note: GMAP is exploring alternative ways of taking forward analysis of ethnic origin and disability) 11.1 Please comment on trends in respect of Undergraduate and integrated master admissions. Within this analysis please comment specifically on the following for session 2008/09: - the breakdown of entrant students (mature, overseas, gender balance, intake from non-standard backgrounds – i.e. Wider Access programmes/FE colleges etc); - changes in mode of study (ft/pt/dl) required by students; - general entrance standards. Home/EU Admissions
The data supplied for session 2008/09 for intake has been based on the figures supplied on the Planning Team’s webpages. HE institutions in the UK continued to experience difficulty recruiting to Engineering courses. However, the Faculty exceeded its home undergraduate intake target of 710 with an intake of 773 FTEs without entering clearing and whilst improving entry standards. This is in contract to the previous year when the faculty’s intake fell short of target. At departmental level most departments met their 2008 intake target with only one department falling short and with Chemical Engineering significantly exceeding its intake target.
Breakdown of Entrants
It is difficult to report on trends in breakdown of entrants as the data published by the Planning Office that has been prepared using the new reporting methodology is only available from 2007/8. However, the following is noted:
As in previous years, 80% of the intake to the Faculty continues to be male. The percentage of male entrants is slightly lower amongst overseas entrants at 70%.
Where ethnicity is known the majority of entrants continue to be white at almost 93%. This represents a small increase from the previous year.
96% of entrants had no known disability, 1% higher than the previous year. Of the 4% of entrants with a declared disability 2.25% had a specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia which is broadly similar to the previous year.
Many departments continued to offer undergraduate scholarships as reported in previous FAQER reports. However, a number of new scholarships were introduced in 2008-09 including in Chemical Engineering:
2009-2013 Poyry Scholarship: 1 student each year awarded £2000 p.a. from Year 3 to graduation.
2009-2019 Stalker Scholarship: 3 students each year awarded £800 p.a. in Years 3-5.
BP sponsorship scheme for Chemical Engineering students: £19,000 p.a. in total awarded to students in Years 2, 3 and 4.
2009-2013 Peru scholarship: 1 Year 2 student each year, £2000 p.a. each, for the remainder of their course.
EPSRC and Nuffield student bursaries awarded in 2008 and 2009.
Air Products plc offer Scholarships annually, together with vacation employment and industrial year placement.
The Faculty was approached by BP to offer student sponsorship. There are currently 4 Mechanical Engineering students receiving scholarships, together with similar numbers in EEE and Chemical Engineering. Strathclyde is one of only nine universities included in this scheme.
The Faculty had had a successful year in terms of international student recruitment. Intake to the University has increased by 4% with Engineering accounting for most of this increase. Demand was most evident from China, India Malaysia and Pakistan. The Faculty had substantially exceeded its undergraduate (UG) target due in large part to recruitment via the Faculty’s articulation links with China, but even excluding the China link students the Faculty has still exceeded is target by 100%. The pool of nationalities from which the Faculty recruits its UG students has, however, shrunk this year. The Faculty performed well in securing UG Prestige Scholarship awards in 2008/9: of the eight awarded four of them were in engineering.
Issues specific to mature students and students from non-standard backgrounds are not reportable from the current data sets provided by the Planning Team. General Entrance Standards
General entrance standards to the Faculty increased in 2008-09, based on average UCAS tariff as reported in the MIPs, with the Faculty having the highest entrance standards in the University.
11.2 Please comment on trends in respect of Postgraduate Instructional admissions. Within this analysis please comment specifically on the following for session 2008/09: - the breakdown of entrant students (mature, overseas, gender balance, intake from non-standard backgrounds – i.e. Wider Access programmes/FE colleges etc); - changes in mode of study (ft/pt/dl) required by students; - general entrance standards. Home/EU Admissions
The Faculty also exceeded its PGI intake target of 136 with an intake of 199 FTEs. Particular growth was noted in Civil Engineering which significantly exceeded its target. the downward trend in Bioengineering’s recruitment continued with its intake numbers falling significantly short of target. The Faculty had conducted a mini-Marketing review for department and have identified some short-term measures that could be put in place to reverse this trend.
In contrast to the previous two years the Faculty exceeded is postgraduate instructional (PGI) recruitment target. There continued to be a strong nationality mix in the PGI community. Nigeria was now a key market for the Faculty moving to second position in the table of top PGI supplier countries. It was noted that students that had entered UG programmes via the China links were now progressing to Masters and doctoral level study.
Breakdown of Entrants
It is difficult to report on trends in breakdown of entrants as the data published by the Planning Office that has been prepared using the new reporting methodology is only available from 2007/8. However, the following is noted:
As in previous years, the majority of new entrants to the Faculty continues to be male at 73%. The percentage of male entrants is the same across home/EU and overseas students.
The number of students with a declared disability remain exceptionally small at 2% compared with 1% in the previous year.
The ethnicity of almost 50% of PGI students is unknown (54% unknown in previous year) and, therefore, it is difficult to draw any conclusions from the data presented on ethnicity. Where ethnicity is known the majority (65%) are white.
Issues specific to mature students and students from non-standard backgrounds are not reportable from the current data sets provided by the Planning Team. 11.3 Please comment on trends in respect of Postgraduate Research admissions. Within this analysis please comment specifically on the following for session 2008/09: - the breakdown of entrant students (e.g. home, overseas, gender balance) - changes in mode of study (ft/pt/dl) required by students; - general entrance standards.
11.4 Please note any specific proposals or initiatives on admissions at Departmental and/or Faculty level that arose following experience in 2008/09 (i.e. increasing/lowering entrance requirements). In Architecture, demand for undergraduate course remains high. Home and international undergraduate targets were exceeded in 08/09. The tariff was raised for undergraduate entry in 08/09 and interviews and portfolio reviews were introduced for all applicants who meet/are expected to meet entry requirements. The Department intends to continue with this process for future applicants.
Bioengineering had suffered from poor recruitment to the MSc course. To address this in 08/9, one academic staff member was assigned to process all MSc, MRes, MPhil and PhD applications. Better processing and follow up resulted in significantly higher recruitment for 09/10.
Chemical Engineering has twice raised entrance requirements and has succeeded in increasing the intake even further, attracting very well qualified applicants.
DMEM continues to interview all applicants and provide them with an introduction to the Department including a seminar, hands-on activity, and a tour of the Department’s facilities. The entrance requirements are as currently recommended by the Faculty.
Mechanical Engineering increased entry requirements from A-level to ABB (BEng) and AAA (MEng), and increased BEng entry requirements for SQA Highers to AAAB. For MEng it remains AAAAB.
NAME admission requirements have been increased substantially in line with the Faculty position. SQA Higher qualifications are now AABB for BEng first year entry and AAAA for MEng first year entry.
The entrance requirements for the NCPO BSc were raised from BBBB to AABB in 08/09 and applications and admissions also rose. There are plans to raise the admission requirements further to AAAB in 10/11 in line with the Faculty. It is hoped this will improve retention from first to second year.
12 Progression/Completion In completing this section, Faculties should refer to the Management Information Profiles (MIPS) produced by the Planning Office.
12.1 Please comment on trends in respect of Undergraduate and Integrated Master progression and completion. The Faculty’s Year after Entry and overall retention rates are unchanged from the previous year but both remain lower than they were in 2006/07.
Trends in respect of UG completion are not reportable from the current data sets provided by the Planning Team. 12.2 Please comment on trends in respect of Postgraduate Instructional progression and completion. Trends in respect of PGI progression and completion are not reportable from the current data sets provided by the Planning Team. 12.3 Please comment on trends in respect of Postgraduate Research submission and completion. Trends in respect of PGR submission and completion are not reportable from the current data sets provided by the Planning Team. SECTION C