The Theme for this year’s blended Annual Academic Development Symposium aligned with the current QAA Scotland Enhancement Theme, ‘Resilient Learning Communities’. The symposium provided an opportunity for staff across the University to engage with and discuss the current Theme and to network with colleagues across the University.
Below is a description of the discussion panels that were held on Thursday 5 May 2022, to exchange practice and ideas in a supportive and collaborative environment.
- Learning Together: Continuing to Support an Inclusive, Accessible and Diverse Learning Culture
Session 1, 12:45-13:30
Building on the 2021 Symposium discussions, this panel shared and explored practices as we work towards the “Inclusive” commitments of the University’s 2040 strategy. The strategy provides that we will welcome staff and students of all backgrounds. ”Our commitment to inclusion will guide our education. We aspire to lead our sector in promoting health and wellbeing, and celebrating diversity”. In particular, we explored presentations regarding Commitment 1 “We will care for the wellbeing, health and safety of our diverse community, supporting and developing our people to achieve their full potential” and Commitment 2 “We will encourage widening access to study by having fair and flexible entry routes, offering diverse qualifications, and providing a range of modes of delivery; our students will be able to succeed whatever their personal and social background".
Professor Abbe Brown, Dean for Student Support (Chair)
Moses Ikpeme, Lecturer (Scholarship), School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition
Dr Heather Morgan, Lecturer (Scholarship), School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition
Dr Mary Pryor, Senior Academic Skills Adviser, Student Learning Service, Centre for Academic Development
Sian Wallace and Roma Dhasmana, Disabled Students’ Forum
Recording of Panel Session 1.
- An Interdisciplinary Approach to Learning
Session 2, 12:45-13:30
We explored interdisciplinary approaches to learning. It included discussions about some of the challenges we may need to overcome working across disciplines and lessons we can learn from others. In addition, we reflected on the rewards of seeing students starting to think about their studies from different disciplinary perspectives and what they have gained from an interdisciplinary approach to learning.
Professor Jennie Macdiarmid, Director of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Health, Nutrition and Wellbeing (Chair)
Dr Louise Ross, Lecturer (Scholarship), School of Biological Sciences
Dr Shahida Shahana Lecturer (Scholarship), School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition
Nada Jodeh, 3rd Year Medical Student, School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition
Recording of Panel Session 2.
- Understanding International Students’ Employability Needs
Session 3, 13:45-14:30
The short presentations explored a number of themes relevant to international students including the support provided by Aberdeen in assisting students to gain employment in their origin country, the jobs that our international graduates end up in and the skills demands of international companies.
Dr Harminder Battu, Dean for International Student Pathways (Chair)
John Barrow, Dean for Entrepreneurship & Employability
Regina Jaschke, Senior Careers Advisor, Careers and Employability Service
Dr Peter Morgan, Director of Internationalisation, Business School
Recording of Panel Session 3.
- Mainstreaming Sustainability into Everyday University Life
Session 4, 13:45-14:30
In our 2040 strategy, under its “Sustainable” ambition, the University of Aberdeen states, “We understand and nurture our environment, and take care of our resources, including our people and finances. We work responsibly” an commits (Commitment 17) to: “We will educate all our students and staff to be leaders in protecting the environment.” In this session we examined how we will meet this commitment, so that sustainability is mainstreamed into the everyday life of all University staff and students.
Professor Pete Smith, Professor of Soils & Global Change (Chair)
Dr Paula Duffy, Lecturer, School of Geosciences
Professor Donald Gray, School of Education
Tristan Wolfe, Energy Manager, Estates & Facilities
Shazia Nusky, 4th Year Medical Student, School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition
Recording of Panel Session 4.