Curriculum Management Vision
The Curriculum Management project is a strategic university project looking at how we manage our core business, our academic programmes offering.
The higher education environment is changing rapidly. Our students and our programmes are increasingly diverse, so much so that the ‘traditional’ four-year on-campus delivery to recent school-leavers may eventually become a thing of the past. We are already trying to manage hugely complex programmes, with a number of entry and exit routes, with high levels of choice, different modes and locations of delivery, alongside short courses that may or may not be credit-bearing. The direction of movement is towards greater complexity, with online delivery, condensed programmes, growth in apprenticeships and partnerships and increased articulation targets. All of these changes add further pressure to an already inadequate system for planning and managing the curriculum. Furthermore the complexity of the programme information has significant ramifications to the university’s fees arrangements; causing stresses in the current billing, planning and forecasting processes.
Failure to introduce a robust system for curriculum management risks ‘business as usual’ in a very fundamental way. It is only through the diligence of staff that we have avoided making serious errors in the way that we manage our programmes. But we cannot continue to operate in this way if we are to move ahead and deliver credit- and non-credit-bearing programmes and courses that are fit for the future.
The successful introduction of a curriculum management system will move us into a very different place that will be ahead of other universities in terms of our ability to design new programmes, refresh and reinvigorate existing programmes, and to support our students and staff during programme implementation. Delivery of an appropriate curriculum management will bring a step change in our understanding of the ‘products’ we can sell, the fees associated with these offerings, and the income that they can generate.
We need to invest in time, systems and people in order to succeed. The outcome will place us in a very strong position to support innovation in programme design and delivery that will meet the needs of the changing external environment.