Ward, Lisa J. and Gaffikin, Jane A (2010) The Challenges of Setting Up a Teaching and Learning Institute to Inspire Tomorrow’s Professionals. In: Association for Sandwich Education and Training (ASET) Annual Conference, 7-9 September 2010, University of Leicester.

Lisa Ward, Teaching and Learning Institute - Administration Manager, l.ward@hud.ac.uk, tel: 01484 47 1578
and Jane Gaffikin, Teaching and Learning Institute – Staff Development Advisor, j.a.gaffikin@hud.ac.uk Tel: 01484 47 3146.
University of Huddersfield, Queensgate, Huddersfield, HD1 3DH

Key words: Teaching, Learning, Employability, Students, Inspire



The University of Huddersfield is one of the Top Ten providers of Sandwich Education (one year work placement as part of a four year degree) in the UK. Our strategy aims ‘to produce employable and enterprising graduates’. We are committed to work placements to such an extent that they are ‘fee free’. We have a huge range of vocational courses and our scholarly courses also contain strong work integrated learning components. Our strapline is ‘inspiring tomorrow’s professionals.’

The University’s Teaching and Learning Institute was formed in 2010 to develop inspiring and innovative teaching. The Institute’s prime focus is to enhance and nurture cross disciplinary teaching and learning activities and consequently raise student aspirations. Work integrated learning whether via placement, enterprise or business partnerships is an important feature in preparing students for their future careers and an aspect of practice which the Institute will encourage. Raising the profile of the existing best practice both within the University and the wider community is crucial to the Institute’s success.

Aims and Objectives

The paper will explore:
• The background to the institute and why it was formed
• How the Institute has been set up and the challenges it faces
• How the Institute is supporting ‘inspiring tomorrow’s professionals’
o The University’s continuous commitment to and culture of work placements.
o Completed Teaching and Learning projects that support the employability of students
o Current and future Teaching and Learning projects to support the employability of students
o Working in partnership with the Research and Enterprise agenda
o Delivering effective staff development for academic and academic related support staff.
o Recognising, celebrating and disseminating success, within the institution, nationally and internationally.

Experiences covered and Issues Addressed

The Institute’s key themes are: co-ordination, evaluation and dissemination. The paper will discuss the first few months of the Institute’s inception and the groundwork undertaken to ensure relationships and processes are in place to fully engage with the University community with the ultimate aim of enhancing the experience of our student population, as they become tomorrow’s professionals.

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