While the greater part of academic support for students takes place within curricula in Schools, a number of universities offer centrally managed facilities as part of an open, consistent and highly visible offer to students. Such provision is easily monitored and evaluated, and can constitute a significant enhancement to academic provision.
The objectives of such a Skills Centre are to:
- Provide a readily accessible “front window” or information hub for our existing face-to-face provision, which includes dissertation drop-in sessions and other support sessions provided by the library’s Subject Advisors, the drop-in service provided by Disability Support, the PASS (Peer-Assisted Study Sessions), and career development training in Careers via the PSA and the College employability liaison team.
- Support but not replace the range of language and academic writing support offered to non-native English speakers through EISU (some of this is on a one-to-one basis).
- Create an embedded Maths Support Centre, accessible to all University of Birmingham students but with a particular emphasis upon first year students from National HE STEM Programme disciplines and other disciplines where Maths or statistics forms a component of the undergraduate course. The Centre is to provide Maths support, utilising both academic members of staff and postgraduate students, with an appropriate package of support and mentoring.
- Draw attention to our electronic study skills resources, such as the Guide to Effective Learning (GEL) website and the Skills4Study Campus course which are managed by the Learning Enhancement team, as well as the online courses supported by the Technology Skills Development Team.
- Provide distinctive new elements in the form of Academic Writing Support and Maths Support on a mixed model of drop-in, one-to-one support, and scheduled individual and group sessions.
The deliverables of the Academic Skills Centre include:
- A baseline review and benchmark of current provision and GAP analysis (document)
- The Academic Skills Centre visioning and implementation document and resourcing plan (document)
- The Academic Skills Centre remit, governance, charter and operational processes
- The Academic Skills Centre programme of activity (document)
- The Academic Skills Centre engagement, promotion and marketing programme (marketing campaign)
- The Academic Skills Centre itself