The quality of the student learning experience drives the work of Student & Academic Services. We support students and their learning from application, into their programme of study and onto employment. We demonstrate our commitment to student learning by a) establishing coherent processes that underpin and enable the student journey and b) providing a range of activities that extend, hone and support student learning from entry to exit and beyond.
As a department, we work with faculties to:
We work with external partners to deliver pre-entry events designed to prepare students for learning at University. In addition, we have designed pre-entry learning activity such as Signposts to Success and Get Ready for University Study to support those students who would benefit from additional academic pre-entry support.
- ensure that students from all backgrounds who have the potential to succeed and benefit from our programmes of study are identified and admitted; thereby supporting student progression and success.
- ensure our courses are accessible and capable of receiving articulating students at a variety of entry levels including Advanced entry available for some applicants with particular grades in Advanced Highers and Scottish Baccalaureate.
- smooth the transition of European students entering as part of an exchange or articulating into University Degree programmes.
We work with College partners to enable students to articulate successfully to the University’s degree programmes.
We also lead work with faculties and other professional services to deliver an engaging Week 1 experience for new students focused on enhancing the academic and social integration of new students in order to set them up for success. A streamlined Matriculation event also enables students to matriculate onto their programmes with ease and incorporates access to staff to assist with immigration administration, payment of fees and Information Services induction.
The Administration of Learning: An important aspect of our support for student learning lies in our work to assure excellence in the administration of learning, including recruitment, admission, matriculation, Erasmus and student exchange administration, payment of fees, points-based immigration processes, timetabling, transfer between programmes, progression and achievement, examinations, and graduation. For example, we:
- maintain the Quality Framework, which provides a coherent set of procedures that enable the academic standard of all awards and the quality of the student learning experience to be set and maintained. A key characteristic of the Quality Framework and the operation of quality procedures is that enhancement activity is embedded within each procedure. This is achieved by ensuring that quality activities are underpinned by critical self-reflection and evaluation, external and internal peer review and appropriate student involvement. Outcomes and reports resulting from quality activities are shared openly University-wide and are routinely considered by Academic Board and its sub-committees.
- set the University’s key dates for operational activity, especially surrounding Module and Programme Board of Examiners activity, including dates for hosting Board of Examiner meetings, deadlines for input of decisions and also deadlines for Publication of Results.
- strive to ensure relevancy and consistency of decision making and data input, in accordance with regulations through the monitoring and auditing of our student records.
- provide training to school and faculty staff on student administrative processes, including module and programme decisions, thereby promoting consistency of practice and data quality.
- provide training for invigilators who assist in examinations processes to ensure University Exam Regulations are adhered to and examinations are run in a consistent and impartial manner.
Facilitating student learning and academic integration: We directly support students in their learning and work with academic staff to enhance programme-based learning. For example, we:
- work to develop personal, professional and academic skills, knowledge and understanding through our Confident Futures and Academic Skills Adviser teams. This is often achieved through the integration of tailored learning activity into programmes.
- run a student peer mentoring programme in which experienced, trained students help new students integrate academically and socially.
- provide tailored support for students with disabilities or additional needs and advice and guidance to staff on the implications for learning.
- provide support for the wellbeing aspect of learning.
- contribute to a range of University-wide teaching and learning initiatives including Graduate Attributes, the Feedback for Learning campaign and employability.
Into employment or other post-graduation outcomes
Student & Academic Services also supports student learning through the final student transition out of their programme of study. This includes careers related learning and administration of graduate records to facilitate pathways into further learning. For example, we:
- implemented and rolled out the Edinburgh Napier Diploma Supplement, which aims to improve international ‘transparency’ and facilitate the academic and professional recognition of qualifications across Europe. We ensure we are responsive to change, ensuring the document is up-to-date and meets the templates developed by the Joint European Commission – Council of Europe – UNESCO.
- assist former students with certification required for further study and for access to funding sources for further study.
- regularly invite employers onto campus to help students learn about aspects of employability and help them in their decision making and employment seeking.
- run an employer mentoring programme in which eligible students meet with a professional person to help them prepare for the workplace.
- support international students in their application for post study work visa and adapting that support as a result of changes to legislation.