Global Graduates: Enabling Flexible Learning
In June 2013, the Future Directions steering group identified the second Future Directions enhancement theme for the Welsh higher education sector, Global Graduates: Enabling Flexible Learning. The three workstrands within this new theme were:
- Distinctive Graduates
- Inspiring Teaching
- Learner Journeys
The new enhancement theme built on the successes of the previous one, Graduates for our Future and its workstrands. Global Graduates: Enabling Flexible Learning and the three new workstrands were 'soft-launched' in autumn 2013 and ran concurrently with the previous theme, Graduates for our Future, until the Future Directions conference in spring 2014.
The Distinctive Graduates group consisted of representatives from institutions and key sector agencies in Wales. It was led by Lloyd Williams, of the University of South Wales. It aimed to identify and understand the set of skills and attributes developed by students in Wales. A global mind set, cultural agility and advanced communication or language skills were initially identified as features that are likely to lead to graduates performing successfully on an international stage. The group explored how HE institutions in Wales provide a mode and delivery of learning and work related experience that is likely to influence the evolution of these attributes. The workstrand explored specific elements of the student experience in Wales that shape the ability of graduates to perform successfully in the international labour market.
The Inspiring Teaching group consisted of representatives from institutions and key sector agencies in Wales. It was led by Graham Lewis, of Aberystwyth University. It aimed to explore how Welsh HE providers both inspire teaching development and value examples of inspired teaching. It is about how we create an environment which encourages enquiry into teaching practice and celebrates innovation. It is about how we ensure that the support we give to teachers in HE, takes account of the environment in which academics work and is fit for purpose.The Inspiring Teaching strand aimed to continue to share and celebrate existing good practice and explore how we can work, across Wales, to further enhance the quality of HE teaching and the student experience.
The Learner Journey group consisted of representatives from institutions and key sector agencies in Wales. It was led by Jo Smedley, of the University of South Wales.It offered a window on the provision of learning in various non-traditional modes. It provided a cross-Wales response to the Welsh Government’s Policy Statement for Higher Education in early June 2013 identifying the need to develop “more flexible models of provision” within its set of priorities up to 2020. Learner journeys are many and varied ranging from traditional, full time experiences to more bite-sized learning experiences which involve stepping on and off learning, learning portability and learning which occurs at various paces and places. Curriculum design and assessment are important elements in ensuring that the learner experience is consistently of a high quality, irrespective of the path of engagement.