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Loughborough University

University Committees


Minutes of the meeting of the Committee held on 16 April 2015


Prof. Morag Bell (in the Chair), Prof. Memis Acar, Vipin Ahlawat, Dr Lorraine Cale, Prof. Pat Carrillo, Dr Sandie Dann, Dr John McCardle, Prof. Marsha Meskimmon, Dr Jennifer Nutkins, Dr Keith Pond, Prof. Zoe Radnor, Dr Carol Robinson, Rob Whittaker, Dr Jane Horner

In attendance: 

Rob Pearson, Andy Borrie (for 15/22), Helen Smith (for 15/24)


Dr Manuel Alonso, Dr Vince Dwyer, Amy Ward, Prof. Jo Bullard.

15/20 Minutes

Received: LTC15-M1 

  1. The Minutes of the Meeting of the Committee held on 12 March 2015 were confirmed.

15/21 Matters arising from the Minutes

15/11 Revision to the Postgraduate Merit and Distinction Award Criteria

  1. It was confirmed that the drafting of the amendment to Regulation XXI submitted to the March meeting (LTC15-P10) was appropriate and that no further amendment was necessary before submission for approval to Senate.

15/22 Loughborough University Student Leadership Audit

Received:         LTC15-P17

  1. The Committee welcomed Andy Borrie from the SDC to present the outcomes on a Student Leadership Audit that had been overseen by a Steering Group on behalf of the Committee.  The report concluded that leadership skills development within the curriculum varied between academic Schools, and included areas of real excellence.  The development of leadership skills appeared to be a high priority for Professional Services and the Students’ Union, but overall the offer lacked coherence.  Therefore, although it was being increasingly recognised that this was a key student development area, the opportunities for students to develop an understanding of leadership skills were not widely available.
  2. The Committee supported in principle the recommendations outlined in the paper, which were intended to underpin a coherent strategy to develop a UK-leading system for personal leadership development within students. It was agreed that the Steering Group would undertake further work in the following areas, with a view to reporting back to the Committee at a later date:
  • To develop a standardised terminology for leadership at Loughborough
  • To share with AD(T)s details of the leadership skills development currently provided within Schools
  • To undertake audits within all outstanding Schools
  • For Andy Borrie to attend a meeting of the Graduate Attributes and Personal Development Sub-Committee to discuss the relationship between the student leadership Steering Group and the work of the Sub-Committee. 

15/23 Update on Loughborough University in London

Received:         LTC15-P18

  1. The Committee received a paper providing an update on key aspects of the development of Loughborough University in London, which would welcome its first cohort of students in September 2015.  This included an overview of the building and learning environment, academic programmes, key appointments, and marketing and recruitment.The Committee noted progress and the associated Learning and Teaching Principles which had been developed to support the learning and teaching environment.
  2. The LSU President noted the importance for the student experience of retaining a distinct LSU space within the building.  The AD(T) for London reported that the LUiL building design was currently out to tender, and it was anticipated that space dedicated to the LSU would be incorporated into the design.
  3. A special meeting of Curriculum Sub-Committee would be held in June to focus on LUiL curriculum approval.  It was agreed that this would include the module specifications and assessment regime for dissertation modules.
  4. It was noted that the method of reassessment for a module should be the same for the first attempt.  The Committee would consider, at a future meeting, reassessment criteria for modules which required group work, and the related progression implications for postgraduate students.  Action: JCN

15/24 Graduate Attributes

Received:         LTC15-P19

  1. Following work over the last 18 months, the Committee received the final proposals of the Graduate Attributes and Personal Development Sub-Committee for the Loughborough University Graduate Attributes. The latest version aimed to incorporate comments from the discussion at the meetings of Learning and Teaching Committee and of the Sub-Committee on 12 March 2015.  The Committee agreed to recommend the final version of the Graduate Attributes to Senate for approval on 24 June 2015.
  2. The Committee thanked Helen Smith, Jennifer Nutkins and relevant colleagues who had contributed to the development of the Graduate Attributes.

15/25 Loughborough University Teaching Fellowship Scheme – Initial Proposal

Received:         LTC15-P20

  1. A small working group had been tasked by the PVC(T) to develop an initial proposal for a Loughborough University Teaching Fellowship Scheme. It was proposed that Teaching Fellowships would form part of the suite of Teaching awards available at Loughborough.  Each Fellowship holder (up to 3 or 4 per year) would be released from other academic duties for 6 months full-time equivalent.  They would each be able to bid for up to £10,000 to support the work of their project.
  2. Members welcomed the proposed Teaching Fellowship Scheme and provided feedback to the working group with a view to a revised version being presented for approval to a future meeting.   Consideration would have to be given to parity of the Teaching Fellowship with the proposed Research and Enterprise Fellowships in respect to criteria for academic promotion and to principles for back-filling responsibilities when an academic was on a Fellowship.  It was also agreed that the Committee would be asked to approve the criteria upon which the selection panel would base their decisions. Action: CR

15/26 SAP Reassessment for PGT Students

Received:         LTC15-P21

  1. Amendments to Regulation XXI in relation to the availability of SAP for PGT students were agreed in principle. The amendments would automatically make all PGT modules available for reassessment in SAP, except where the module specification stated otherwise due to methods of delivery and except where certain performance criteria had not been met.
  2. The Committee was made aware that reassessment rights in modules could only be confirmed after a module had been “fixed” at a Review Board. Therefore, the frequency and timing of Review Boards had a direct impact on whether or not modules were available for reassessment in SAP. There was currently mixed practice regarding the frequency and timing of Review Boards. Of particular relevance, some Schools currently held their first (and only) Review Board in September, thereby effectively preventing reassessment in SAP.
  3. It was agreed that the Committee would be asked to formally agree the amendments to Regulation XXI at its June meeting, with a view to making a formal recommendation to Senate, alongside more detailed guidance on the operation of Review Boards.  Action: JCN

15/27 Proposed Stretched Degree Policy (Disability and Health)

Received:         LTC15-P22

  1. The Committee approved a proposed Stretched Degree Policy and associated procedure which formalised existing practice and also provided an explicit framework for permitting students to start full-time degrees on a part-time basis as a reasonable adjustment, thereby supporting the University in fulfilling its responsibilities under the Equality Act (2010).
  2. It was agreed that discussions would be undertaken with the Counselling and Disability Service to determine the appropriate level of guidance and support provided to both students and staff in regard to stretched degree and leave of absence recommendations.  Action:  JCN/MA
  3. It was agreed that it would be appropriate to monitor the use of stretched degrees for either disability adjustment or for facilitating participation in elite sport, and that this would be undertaken by the Student Office, reporting to Learning and Teaching Committee annually.
  4. It was agreed that a review of the existing policy concerning stretched degrees for elite athletes would be undertaken to ensure the wording of the latter was modernised and to include a section on financial implications. It was not proposed that elite athletes would be permitted to commence full-time degrees on a part-time basis.  Action: JCN

15/28 Timeline for the Annual Update of Programmes and Modules

Received:         LTC15-P23

  1. The Committee noted the timeline for the Annual Update of Programmes and Modules and the relationship between the Annual Update process, the admissions cycle and the timetabling process.
  2. The timeline would be updated to clarify that the period between October and December saw the commencement of the formal quality cycle through the APR process.  The timeline would also be subject to future amendments to reflect the deadlines associated with a proposed online student module choice system, and guidance which would be forthcoming in regard to the implications of advice from the Competition and Markets Authority for higher education providers in regard to their legal obligations and consumer rights for students.

15/29 BUE

Received:         LTC15-P24

  1. The Committee received an update on progress to transfer the UK validation of the Loughborough University validated programmes at the BUE to London South Bank University. Proposals would be discussed during the annual visit to BUE in May 2015, with involvement expected to cease entirely by the end of 2018/19.

15/30 Update on the Development of the Online Framework for Programme Design, Delivery and Assessment

  1. The Committee received an overview of work that had been undertaken to develop an online Framework for Programme Design, Delivery and Assessment. The Framework was part of the University’s strategic plan to define and deliver an outstanding and distinctive campus-based learning experience in Loughborough and at LUiL. The Framework would reflect the innovation and good practice taking place at Loughborough, and would recognise changing student expectations and the need for efficient and effective teaching practice.
  2. Members welcomed the development of the Framework, which would be a valuable resource for Programme Directors and other staff with teaching and learning responsibilities. 
  3. It was agreed that the Committee would receive proposals at its meeting in June for strategies for staff engagement with the Framework and for future maintenance of the resource.  Action: CR

15/31 Report from Curriculum Sub-Committee

Received:         LTC15-P25

  1. The Committee confirmed the approval of programmes and modules considered by Curriculum Sub-Committee.

15/32 Arbitration Procedures in Collaborative Agreements

Received:         LTC15-P26

  1. The Committee approved recommendations from the Teaching Partnerships Sub-Committee regarding arbitration procedures in collaborative partnership agreements.

15/33 Update on key initiatives from the Learning and Teaching Strategic Implementation Plan

Received:            SEN15-P21c

  1. The Committee noted a report submitted to Senate in March highlighting progress with a number of initiatives under Investing in Staff and Educating for Success, which were included in the Learning and Teaching Strategic Implementation Plan. The Centre for Academic Practice was overseeing the initiatives.

15/34 Notes from NSS Stakeholder Meeting

Received:            LTC15-P27

  1. The Committee received notes from a stakeholder meeting convened by Ipsos MORI to discuss NSS progress.  The meeting discussed fieldwork, response rates, promotion of good practice and stakeholder feedback.

15/35 Making the most of recorded lectures: A student’s guide to ReVIEW

Received:            LTC15-P28

  1. The Committee noted the ‘Student Guide to ReVIEW’ produced by Ben Kingscott, the graduate intern in CAP, which had been distributed by LSU.

15/36 Any Other Business

  1. Inclusion of Part I in Degree Award Titles
    It was agreed that the Committee would receive a proposal at a future meeting that successful completion of Part I should be reflected in the degree award title conferred on students.  
  2. Leadership Foundation Course
    The Centre for Academic Practice would be extending an invitation to AD staff to attend a Leadership Foundation course entitled “Influencing Without Authority”, which would be held on 9 July 2015.
  3. Student Systems Strategy Group
    At its meeting in October 2014, the Committee supported the creation of a framework to be used for the prioritisation of student systems enabled projects and developments, which included the formation of a Student Systems Strategy Group (SSSG) and a Student Systems Monitoring Group.  It had been agreed that, to ensure the feedback loop was closed, following each meeting of SSSG an extract of sections of the minutes relevant to LTC would be reported to the Committee as appropriate.  However, members agreed that to ensure transparency in the decision making process it would be timely to review the relationship between the Committee, the SSSG, and IT proposals from Schools and Professional Services. Action: JCN


Author – Rob Pearson

April 2015

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