Introducing online portfolio-based applications to higher education courses

How can Universities, and other education providers, make better selection decisions on course applicants? In 2015 a record number of 592,000 applications were made, representing a 2% increase on the previous year (The Telegraph, 2015). At the same time, Universities are under enormous pressure to improve graduate employment statistics to demonstrate serious student investment through tuition fees. As Edward Peck, Nottingham Trent University, states “…if we are saying to students that coming to university will improve your job prospects, then we have to deliver that.”

Could a portfolio-based application system be the answer for visual arts subjects ?

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A fresh perspective on HE teaching

A mock analysis of possible TEF scores, released by THE [1], suggests a long awaited new perspective on teaching in UK HEIs. The dominance of research-intensive universities in league tables over the previous decade, and more, has largely mis-represented the quality of teaching across many of the smaller, campus-based institutions. Soon we will begin to see a new picture emerging of the standard of teaching across the UK, allowing prospective students to make better study choices, and challenging many universities to seriously invest time, resource and imagination into undergraduate and postgraduate education.

As with any new initiative, it will take time for an accurate picture to emerge. However, three key questions confront all involved:

  1. what do we mean by ‘teaching excellence’ ?
  2. how do we measure ‘teaching excellence’ ?
  3. do we need to change our current teaching practices ?


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