A course level holistic approach to core skills development for international PGT students: sharing practice & ways of working

Jane Fearon (Sheffield Hallam University)
Alison McCamley (Sheffield Hallam University)

Tuesday, April 9, 2024 9:00 AM - 9:45 AM

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Session Outline

The speed and intensity of transition to PGT is widely acknowledged as a challenge for all students (Fearon & McCamley 2019) but particularly for those from non-UK education systems (Coates & Dickinson 2012). These challenges are compounded by increased student diversity alongside sector-wide rapid expansion of international PGT (HESA 2021). Further, this approach reflects the way in which provision developed by staff with direct experience of /involvement with courses and students can be a creative way to meet student need rather than top-down, imposed, institutional initiatives (Barnes, MacLeod & Huttly 2018).

The Workshop will focus on a course level post graduate student development programme in an MSc Public Health course with 2 cohorts each academic year made up of predominantly international students.

Adoption of a “new” Post Graduate Academic Advising model in 2021/22 as we emerged from the online world of COVID, alongside rapid expansion of student numbers, highlighted a need to think about core skills holistically and across the course. It was clear that although effective, the existing Academic Advising resource and approach could usefully be part of integrated, bespoke, provision to meet the needs of this large and diverse student group.

To achieve this, we have harnessed and adapted institutional resources which aligned with our commitment to advising as teaching and learner centred advising and in 2022/23 we implemented the "new" model. This process, the rationale and [institutional] context will be discussed alongside the programme itself.

The Workshop will begin with a short presentation about the post graduate student development programme starting with induction and ending with the dissertation. Participants will be invited to identify the potential for similar activities in their courses and consider the strengths and challenges in the context of diverse student groups and modes of delivery. There will also be an opportunity to discuss and reflect on their own course level and institutional practice.

This session addresses the following competencies of the UKAT Professional Framework for Advising and Tutoring
I2 - Curriculum, degree programmes and pathways, including options
I5 - The characteristics, needs, and experiences of major and emerging student populations
I6 - Campus and community resources that support student success