Academic staff from Bishop Grosseteste University (BGU) visited the Faculty of Education at Masaryk University (MUni), situated in the city of Brno in the Czech Republic, to explore opportunities for supporting student experience.

The visit built upon a collegiate partnership between MUni and BGU, which focuses on academic and professional standards, improving student experience and opportunities for sharing good practice in learning and teaching.

Dr Claire Thomson, Head of the Centre for Enhancement of Learning and Teaching (CELT), and Caroline Meredith, Academic Lead for Flexible and Distributed Learning, facilitated a workshop for MUni colleagues, to explore evaluative frameworks for student experience, retention and attainment. Colleagues discussed strategies to develop students’ positive engagement with University life, which aligns to BGU’s Graduate Attribute framework.

Claire shared evidence of CELT’s substantial student engagement and enhancement work over the past eighteen months. This includes many examples of good practice in engaging students in academic and personal development activities, student wellbeing initiatives and student-focussed conferences, all of which contribute to students’ identity as successful learners who belong firmly in BGU’s learning community. This responds to research findings, in which students’ sense of belonging and their self-image as successful learners have been shown as crucial to student retention and achievement (What Works? Student retention and success; Thomas, Hill, O’Mahony and Yorke, 2017).

Colleagues also had detailed discussions around the programme-level annual monitoring process at BGU, and compared it to the evaluative framework being developed at MUni’s Faculty of Education.

A highlight of the visit for Claire and Caroline was an excursion to the elementary school at Bosonožská. They met senior staff, observed some learning and teaching and enjoyed a traditional Czech school lunch with teachers and children of the school. Colleagues examined and discussed the embedding of Professional Standards in curriculum design at BGU, and discussed ways this could be developed at MUni.

MUni staff plan a return visit to BGU in 2020, to share approaches and strategies for the assessment of placement experience with students in Lincolnshire schools.

If you would like to become a part of BGU’s growing international community, visit our website, speak to a member of our Enquiries Team or join us on one of our Open Days to find out how to take your first steps.

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