Meet the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education
Professor Deborah Longworth is the interim Pro-Vice Chancellor for Education for the remainder of the 2021-22 academic year, following the departure of Professor Kathy Armour to UCL. Professor Longworth joined the University in 1998 as a lecturer in English Literature. She was Head of the Department in English Literature for four years, before taking up the role of Deputy Pro-Vice Chancellor Education (Student Academic Experience) in February 2021.
A warm welcome back to all our students for the official start of semester two. I hope you enjoyed some well-earned rest and recuperation over the vacation period and have been able to enjoy our inter-semester UoBe Festival programme this week, on campus or online.
Some programmes will already have started teaching in January, whereas others of you will have been completing assessments, focusing on research projects, or engaging in placements or related activity. Some of you will be returning to our Edgbaston campus, and others studying in Dubai, our satellite campuses, or by distance. Whatever your stage or location of study, I hope that you are looking forward to your modules and wider learning activities this year, knowing that you are supported by an inspirational community of encouraging peers, and by dedicated academic and professional colleagues who are committed to guiding you to achieve great things in both your studies and in your personal development.
This is an exciting moment for the University, as we welcome Professor Adam Tickell as our new Vice Chancellor and continue to develop the transformative educational environment we strive to provide under his leadership. This semester will see the appointment of a new Director of Sustainability Education, to champion and co-ordinate sustainability within our curricula and across our teaching and learning activity. The launch of our new Student Shapers scheme will spotlight the many opportunities for you to work in partnership with us to enhance your own and others’ university experience, and to contribute to shaping our curricula to meet the needs and challenges of the future. We are also starting an education enhancement project, led by the Higher Education Futures Institute and in collaboration with the Guild of Students, researching student experience of assessment and feedback to help us ensure that these are always inclusive, authentic, relevant, and student-centred, enabling you all to achieve your best. I hope that many of you will join the focus groups and other activities that will form part of this project. Please do look out for further announcements about all of these initiatives over the next month.
I am very honoured to be entrusted with looking after the University’s education portfolio over the coming months, and will be working closely with the Vice Chancellor, your Heads of College, the Academic Registrar, our wider academic and professional services education team, and the Guild of Students. I have always been passionate about ensuring that students feel part of a welcoming and inclusive academic community, and that our curricula and co-curricular activities place you at the heart of a vibrant ecosystem of research and critical inquiry. I look forward to meeting and speaking with many of you over the next few months, to visiting some of your teaching sessions to learn more about the education initiatives in your Schools and Colleges, and to joining your College student-representation forums to hear directly from your reps about the issues that are most important to you. I will be at the Guild of Students once a month for an open forum with your Guild education officers Jules and Danielle – do drop in and have a chat with us. You may also always book a slot in my regular open office hours or email me directly at email@example.com. I will always look forward to hearing from you.
With best wishes