This award is made in recognition of the delivery of an exceptional, innovative or transformational contribution to the student experience in learning and teaching.
In 2017 the award was presented to the Faculty of Science Placements Team: Louise Oliver, Esther Reeves, Helen Edwards, Gaynor Henry, Dawn Hallett, Sally Lewis, Kathryn Hood, Wai Wolfe and Sally Bessell.
The level of support provided by the Faculty of Science Placements team is instrumental in delivering a cohesive learning experience not only while students are on placement but also during the application and re-integration phases. The value added through the placement programme is indisputable, both in terms of the skills that students develop and the corresponding enhancement of their prospects upon graduation.
The organisational and administrative measures implemented by the team have been essential in managing the rapid increase in the number of students undertaking a placement in recent years (in Physics from 18 students on placement in 2012-13 to 60 in 2016-17). These developments include a summer programme to prepare students for applications, a comprehensive and dynamic Moodle course to guide students through applications, a second Moodle course to monitor and support students while on placement, and a personal development programme through which students set and monitor goals and objectives during their placement.
Furthermore, the team provides highly personalised guidance for individual students as they progress through their placement journey. From organising development sessions in which placement providers visit campus to talk to and advise the student cohort, through to mock interviews and assessment centre training, no aspects of the placement cycle are left to chance. The team are also particularly enthusiastic in seeking and developing new links with companies that have not previously hosted placement students; this has led to a highly diverse range of placement opportunities for our students.