Curriculum Enhancement Through Learning Partnerships


The aim of this paper is to discuss an Aston University (Birmingham, UK) model for programme enhancement offered to international partners through programme diversification and student engagement in curriculum design (QAA,2012). One of the main reasons for enhancing a primarily English for Academic Purposes programme, such as the International Year Abroad Programme, has been to design a more challenging one which will assist international students with higher or lower than undergraduate entry IELTS language profiles in achieving their academic goals. This has been achieved not only through focusing on EAP in adapted undergraduate modules, but also by supporting students’ access to different Schools’ modules. This report will critically analyse the developmental processes towards a sustainable diversified curriculum including the complex risks and constraints of working at the level of an unbalanced partnership. The report will critically reflect on the embraced opportunities arising from the issues, due to joint efforts and continuous constructive communication. The paper will also focus on student and partner universities’ representation and engagement system at Aston University and its application of the UK Quality Assurance Agency-QAA, Quality Code (2012). Research funded by QAA (Kandiko and Mawer, 2013), showed that prior to quality changes, ‘engagement’ mostly implies engagement in learning opportunities and social activities, rather than student representation and participation in local and large-scale decision-making. This report will also show how life-long learning and collaboration among partner universities’ lecturers can contribute to curriculum enhancement, and improved student representation and satisfaction.

Author Information
Branka Visnjic, Aston University, United Kingdom
Jincheng Wang, Tianjin Foreign Studies University, China
Geoff Parkes, Aston University, United Kingdom

Paper Information
Conference: IICEHawaii2017
Stream: Curriculum research and development

This paper is part of the IICEHawaii2017 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon