PRES 2015 PRES 2015

In PRES 2015, 86% of respondents reported that they were satisfied with their programme, which compares very well to other universities in the sector. However there were a few areas where student feedback – on PRES and in Annual Progress Reviews – showed it would be useful for the University to take further action to improve the experience of research degree candidates and the supporting environment.

As background to PRES 2017, here are key examples of actions being taken at Faculty and University level in response to feedback from PRES 2015. Faculty action plans have also been produced which cover many more detailed actions at School and Faculty level. These have been discussed and shared with Research Student Forums and postgraduate research students within Schools and Faculties.

Supervision

  • Improved compliance of supervisors attending training every three years – now very high
  • Improvements to supervisory training sessions to cover specific areas such as wellbeing and mental health, and specific groups such as part-time and international students
  • Development of a module on research supervision as part of the MA in Higher Education Practice programme that all probationary UEA staff members are required to take

Resources

  • UEA Plan for 2016-20 acknowledged need for PGR space in new academic buildings and in the refurbishment of the Lasdun Academic Wall
  • Increased provision for study spaces for research students in HUM by 35% with zoning by School
  • Continued dialogue with UEA Library to ensure facilities meet PGR student needs

Research Culture

  • Maintaining and increasing discipline-specific seminar programmes that maximise opportunities for postgraduate research student participation
  • Schools were encouraged as part of School Research Reviews carried out by Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise) in 2015 to fully incorporate research students into research culture

Progress and Assessment

  • Improved coordination of registration and induction activities, involving more current students and information from UEA SU, Sportspark, Careers, Student Support Service and other teams
  • Information leaflet developed for students in final year of study – available early 2017
  • Review of Doctoral Training (2016) looked at PRES feedback and recommended increased availability of time management training to help students balancing multiple priorities

Responsibilities

  • Development of Research Student Forums supported in all Faculties and Institutes, with a further review of postgraduate research student representation scheduled in early 2017
  • Contact details for Associate Deans (PGR) and Academic Director added to PGR Service website
  • Improvements made to PGR Service website to clarify research student concessions process

Research Skills and Professional Development

  • Review of Doctoral Training (2016) looked at PRES feedback and recommended including wellbeing/resilience sessions in all induction programmes, being introduced through 2017
  • Review of Doctoral Training also recommended gradual transition away from use of credit in PPD programmes. This will be replaced by individual training needs analysis and personal development planning – work on this is continuing through 2017