The Adaptation and Renewal Team (ART) was formed early in 2020 to shape the University’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic. As thoughts turn to September and the 2021/22 academic year ahead Barry Neilson, Director of Strategic Change, explains how the University’s approach will develop.
In December 2020 the University Executive approved a recommendation to stand down the Adaptation and Renewal Team. This is not because we think the response to the pandemic is over but to revert key decision making to existing established mechanisms.
The Hybrid Teaching Exchange is where colleagues can share work in progress, learning, insights, ideas, plans and resources to support hybrid teaching. The project team’s March digest is aimed at addressing the University community’s current challenges and concerns and provides links to advice and support for staff.
As we continue to navigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on all aspects of University life, the ever-shifting guidelines mean that we’re still constantly adapting and responding to new restrictions.
The transition to hybrid teaching has been incredibly challenging but almost a year after the first national lockdown, we’ve seen countless examples of the commitment and excellence of our University teaching community.
Susan Kemp and Jane Sillars, Programme Directors of the postgraduate taught degree, Film, Exhibition and Curation, in the School of Literatures, Languages & Cultures, had never considered online platforms for their teaching before March last year. Although the prospect of undertaking this shift was daunting, they found that the process led to unexpected benefits.
Whether you are just beginning to branch out into interdisciplinary research or you’re comfortable exploring other disciplines, this kind of research is becoming more widely practised throughout the University. No matter what stage of your interdisciplinary project you’re at, Edinburgh Research Office is there to help. Here Jonathan Rans, Strategic Research Executive, shares the new online resources that are now available to support interdisciplinary research across the University.
Last semester, teams across the University introduced their newly adapted hybrid programmes. While approaches differed across Schools and Colleges, the creativity of teaching teams in adapting to this challenge has been incredible.
One such instance can be seen in the School of Mathematics. When first faced with the challenge of converting their entire offering to a hybrid model, a number of working groups were quickly formed to respond. The ASID project (Adapt, Support, Implement, Deliver) was created with input from across the School; including academic and professional services staff and, critically, students.
Now that the EU and the UK have reached an agreement on their future relationship, Áine Ryan, International Research Funding Manager in Edinburgh Research Office, writes about what this means for UK-based researchers’ access to EU funding.
We finally have some clarity about the UK participation in future EU research funding programmes, primarily Horizon Europe. As part of the agreement reached between the UK and the EU, the UK has announced that it will associate to Horizon Europe. Association will give UK-based researchers and businesses access to funding under the programme on equivalent terms as organisations in EU countries.
The Hybrid Teaching Exchange website showcases how colleagues across the University have approached the shift to hybrid teaching. Here, Joe Arton, Academic Developer and part of the Hybrid Teaching Exchange project team, shares how the approach to Semester 2 has had to shift in response to the news over the past few months.
This month saw the University create, manage and operate the largest Student Covid-19 testing site in Scotland. From the moment the Universities Minister for Scotland announced on 11 November that mass testing would be available for all students wishing to travel home for the winter break, teams of staff and students across the University came together to support the project.
With only 12 days to create testing facilities to students for four of Edinburgh Higher Education institutions, staff had to work fast. After the sites for testing had been chosen, the Estates team, led by Aislinn Wood, Project Manager, worked with colleagues from the Sport and Exercise team to completely transform the two sports halls in just eight days. The entire Estates team worked tirelessly to make sure everything was ready in time.
The Hybrid Teaching Exchange website showcases how colleagues across the University have approached the shift to hybrid teaching. Here, Joe Arton, Academic Developer and part of the Hybrid Teaching Exchange project team, and Dr Jon Turner, Director of the Institute for Academic Development (IAD), share how the approach to Semester 1 has informed the preparation for Semester 2 teaching.
The Hybrid Teaching Exchange is where colleagues can share work in progress, learning, insights, ideas, plans and resources to support hybrid teaching for 2020/21. The aim of these digests is to provide an overview of the site and highlight new and existing content that we hope will be useful and of interest to you and colleagues. Since the last digest, we have expanded the depth of content in existing themes and added a new theme Supporting Mental Health, Wellbeing and Resilience.
Reflections on Semester 1
Throughout Semester 1, the Exchange has documented the University-wide experience of transitioning to hybrid during Covid-19. Contributions have included departmental plans, strategies and personal narratives from staff and students. Highlights from Semester 1 include:
In Semester 2, the Exchange will continue to support hybrid teaching and learning by being comprehensive, iterative, responsive and practical. For example, in order to answer some of the mental health and wellbeing challenges of Semester 1, we have introduced Supporting Mental Health, Wellbeing and Resilience in a digital environment as a new theme. Content that colleagues may find useful while preparing for Semester 2 includes:
Originally from Chennai, India, PhD student Durai Arun Pannir Selvam shares how he’s navigating the pandemic.
Scotland’s public health response to the pandemic can be challenging for everyone at the University, but perhaps none more so than our international students. Originally from Chennai, India, PhD student Durai Arun Pannir Selvam provides an interesting account of how he’s coping.
How can you organise an open day with global restrictions on travel? How can you show off Edinburgh without walking around the city? And how can you support and communicate with prospective students when they are spread out across the world?
These are just a few of the challenges facing the Transitions into the University Strand of the Adaptation and Renewal Students Work Stream as they approached the new recruitment cycle.
Now that our University’s new HR services, supported and enabled by the People and Money system, are now live, make sure you take time to go in and explore the system.
As a reminder, all of us can now log in via MyEd to complete everyday HR tasks like requesting or approving leave, recruiting to new roles, gaining approvals for job changes or amending our personal details.