Strategic Plan 2012 – 2017

Aim 3 – Teaching that inspires

Teaching that inspires: enhancing our recognised world class student experience through investment in quality infrastructure and an excellent portfolio which emphasises employability and lifelong skills, equipping our students for future success.

An Aberystwyth education is founded on innovative, creative teaching, delivered by primarily research active staff. We aspire to challenge and inspire students from diverse backgrounds and cultures to reach their full potential. We seek to nurture confidence, independence, academic rigour, a global outlook and a lifelong passion for learning. We are prepared to invest to ensure a world class student experience for all who choose to study at Aberystwyth.

We believe in the value of teaching a broad portfolio, which addresses the grand challenges facing society and the environment, enabling students from different disciplines to learn from one another and share best practice in methodology. We aim to be agile and responsive to gaps in provision and the needs and priorities of employers. Aberystwyth University will maintain high educational standards while working to simplify and streamline its academic regulations. Over the period to 2017 we will review and refresh our portfolio to ensure that we attract high quality students from around the world, providing our graduates with skills which will equip them for their future careers.  We will develop opportunities for flexible learning and distance learning and invest in technologies which support the provision of more of our courses through non-traditional routes. We support the Welsh Government agenda for Education for Sustainable Development and are committed to having this fully embedded across our curriculum.

Quality teaching demands a quality environment.  A high level aim for us over the next five years is to invest in a campus-wide programme of work to upgrade and enhance our learning spaces.  This investment will provide a modern, flexible learning environment, in line with current teaching methodologies and responsive to student needs.  We will also invest in our information and communications technology and will promote the effective integration of technology into learning.

From 2013, we will expect that all new teaching staff will achieve Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) status within 3 years of commencing employment at the University.  Existing staff will be able to work towards an appropriate fellowship status via our own HEA-accredited programme. We aim for the majority of all teaching staff on full time contracts to achieve FHEA status by 2017 and part-time staff to have started on this journey.  We will reward teaching excellence via our academic promotion system and work in partnership with our Students’ Union to celebrate excellence in student support across our whole community.

We will continue to work in close partnership with our strategic partners via our shared Learning and Teaching strategy with Bangor University, sharing best practice and enhancing our learning environment. 

We are also aware of our special responsibility for furthering Welsh-medium education and we are proud to have a branch of the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol established at Aberystwyth. We will work closely with the Coleg to enrich our Welsh medium provision. More broadly, the presence of the Coleg will assist in the propagation of the cultural life of Wales which our students and staff, wherever they come from, find such an attractive and distinctive element of the Aberystwyth Experience.

Strategies for 2012 – 2017

  1. Delivering growth through an inclusive curriculum (both undergraduate and postgraduate) which attracts high quality students from Wales, the UK and from across the world, embeds employability, addresses global issues and delivers skills for life.
  2. Recognising and rewarding Teaching Excellence – we will embed a promotion system which recognises the value of teaching excellence and leadership and we will encourage and support the student led teaching awards in partnership with the Students’ Union. 
  3. Completing a campus-wide programme of investment in our learning spaces to deliver a high quality, distinctive environment for study.
  4. Investing in technology to enhance learning and respond to the individual needs of students and to overcome geographical and time barriers to access for learners and employers.
  5. Ensuring that the University plays a prominent part in the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol’s Academic Plan, and embed the University’s branch of the Coleg, enabling it to play a full part in the development of Welsh Medium provision.
  6. Reviewing the portfolio – we will ensure our portfolio is efficient, fit for purpose and meets demand, and develop programmes that meet the demands of industry and provide flexible professional training courses.

Aberystwyth 2017

  • Improve on our already outstanding performance in the National Student Survey to be the top university in the UK for student satisfaction.
  • Achieve a 20% uplift on the number of students undertaking some element of their course through the medium of Welsh.
  • Develop excellence in teaching so that at least 60% of our full time teaching staff have an accredited teaching qualification.
  • Ensure that all our core lecture sessions are supported by online teaching resources and delivered in teaching spaces refurbished to world class standards.
  • Introduce at least 10 new postgraduate programmes each year.
  • Revise our undergraduate portfolio and develop programmes such as Hospitality Management and Bio-Veterinary Science.
  • Each Institute will deliver at least one programme by e-learning/distance learning.