News archive 2009
£500k to create curriculum development blueprint05 May 2009, PR 88/09
King’s College London and the University of Warwick have secured funding of £544,000 from HEFCE (Higher Education Funding Council for England) to create a blueprint for curriculum development in research-led universities.
The two institutions have impressive track records of concern for student learning and employer engagement and will, by sharing and developing their expertise further in the King’s-Warwick Project, provide solutions to some of the dilemmas in the strategic development of teaching in research-led institutions.
The King’s College London-Warwick partnership aims to nurture a passion for learning and research amongst students, through a more active and outward-looking curriculum that will ensure that all students are able to:
• experience the thrill of working in a research culture
• engage in academic discourse at a high level
• experience interdisciplinarity
• gain a global perspective on study and research
• engage with communities beyond the university
The King’s-Warwick Project will undertake a fundamental review of undergraduate provision in partnership with employers, community representatives and students that will emphasise the research mission of HE institutions to develop capabilities that are essential for students in employment and as members of society.
A review of strategic teaching initiatives in research-led institutions across the world will ensure that the project is right at the forefront of curriculum renewal. An internal review of the institutions’ already excellent teaching will identify their greatest existing strengths and seek to share them more widely. The initiative will be enhanced by a panel of community representatives and employers who will advise on aspects of the project.
King’s and Warwick aim to help the UK to weather the vagaries of future economic cycles by providing capable and productive graduates for the future. The project’s outcomes and outputs will be of major benefit to other higher education institutions, particularly those with similar or related missions.
King’s College London will work closely with the University of Warwick on the project, to which the two institutions will bring complementary strengths. Warwick will provide expertise in the provision of flexible learning spaces and in linking research and teaching, exemplified by its Reinvention Centre for Undergraduate Research; Warwick’s Undergraduate Research Scholarship Scheme and its initiatives in promoting student research through community engagement are also relevant successes. King’s College London’s strengths include pioneering e-learning initiatives in War Studies and in Dentistry, a highly successful Access to Medicine programme, and a well-established centre for higher education research, the King’s Learning Institute, which will be strongly involved in facilitating development and in evaluation.
Professor Paul Blackmore, Deputy Vice-Principal for Students at King’s, is leading the project. He commented: ‘Over the next four years we aim to offer a pledge that graduates will experience a truly distinctive education. We will be looking internationally – particularly to the US and Australia – to gather the best ideas from around the globe.’
Professor Michael Whitby, Pro-Vice Chancellor for learning and teaching at Warwick, said: ‘This exciting initiative will build on Warwick’s existing strengths. We will offer a service to colleagues in other institutions by sharing the outcomes of the project.’
Professor Rick Trainor, Principal of King’s College London, said: ‘We must offer our students a truly distinctive experience that draws on the major research strengths of our institutions, their outward-looking approach and international status and their role in preparing learners for advanced professional as well as personal lives. We need more than ever before to harness the imagination and creativity of our academic communities to meet these challenges and this project will go a long way to achieving this.’
Warwick’s Vice- chancellor Professor Nigel Thrift said: ‘One of the reasons many of our students choose to study at a Russell Group such as Warwick or King’s is our international reputation built on excellence in scholarship and research. We must ensure that in their time with us they have every opportunity to share in excitement of that research and to be able to access the academic and professional skill building possibilities that can come from being part of a research led community.’
[Image by Alfredo Falvo]
Notes to editors
King's College London
King's College London is one of the top 25 universities in the world (Times Higher Education 2008) and the fourth oldest in England. A research-led university based in the heart of London, King's has more than 21,000 students from nearly 140 countries, and more than 5,700 employees. King's is in the second phase of a £1 billion redevelopment programme which is transforming its estate.
King's has an outstanding reputation for providing world-class teaching and cutting-edge research. In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise for British universities, 23 departments were ranked in the top quartile of British universities; over half of our academic staff work in departments that are in the top 10 per cent in the UK in their field and can thus be classed as world leading. The College is in the top seven UK universities for research earnings and has an overall annual income of nearly £450 million.
King's has a particularly distinguished reputation in the humanities, law, the sciences (including a wide range of health areas such as psychiatry, medicine and dentistry) and social sciences including international affairs. It has played a major role in many of the advances that have shaped modern life, such as the discovery of the structure of DNA and research that led to the development of radio, television, mobile phones and radar. It is the largest centre for the education of healthcare professionals in Europe; no university has more Medical Research Council Centres.
King's College London and Guy's and St Thomas', King's College Hospital and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trusts are part of King's Health Partners. King's Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre (AHSC) is a pioneering global collaboration between one of the world's leading research-led universities and three of London's most successful NHS Foundation Trusts, including leading teaching hospitals and comprehensive mental health services. For more information, visit: www.kingshealthpartners.org
Working in partnership, the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) promotes and funds high-quality, cost-effective teaching and research, meeting the diverse needs of students, the economy and society. http://www.hefce.ac.uk/
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