Tag: Adaptation & Renewal Page 1 of 3

Need to know – 30 March

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Here are the top updates from across the University. 

1. Upcoming Staff Town Hall

All staff are invited to attend an online information and Q&A session with the Principal and Senior Leadership Team on 22 April 2021 from 9.30 to 11am. Updates will be provided on the remainder of this academic year and the key areas of focus for 2021/22, and you will have the opportunity to ask questions. You can find out more and sign up on the staff news website.

2.University confirms its commitment to researchers 

A two-year action plan has been developed to embed the principles of the Researcher Development Concordat, improve Edinburgh’s research environment and culture and support researcher careers.

The plan includes ways to develop support; resources and information for researchers and managers of researchers; and actions on improving recognition for research staff at the University. You can read the Concordat Action Plan on the University website.

3. More study space opening

More study spaces will be opening over the next few weeks in response to the easing of restrictions and in anticipation of strong student demand during the forthcoming revision and exam period. Beginning with Murchison House on 6 April, more than 500 additional spaces will be available by 26 April. More details are available on the University website.

Planning for the next academic year

Reading Time: 2 minutes

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.

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Need to know – 16 February

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Here are the top updates from across the University. 

1. Easter respite days

The University is offering two respite days in early April to ensure as many staff as possible have the opportunity of taking a long weekend over Easter.

These two days are to be taken on Friday 2 and Monday 5 April 2021. We are aware that 2 April is a teaching day and that there will be some staff required to work on these days to keep the essential work of the University running. Those staff will be able to take equivalent time off before the end of April 2021, as agreed with their line manager. In order to keep things simple, these days are not required to be recorded in People and Money. You can find more information on the coronavirus FAQs webpage.

2. Latest communications to Students

Communications will be sent to students this week concerning Semester 2 updates, rent pauses and lease breaks for those in University accommodation, and a live Q&A session with the Principal and senior leaders on 24 February. For anyone wishing to read these communications, they will be posted on the student coronavirus news webpages.

3. 2021 Graduations

Affected students have been informed that the University has taken the difficult decision to cancel all in-person graduation ceremonies in 2021. Students will be invited to an in-person celebration when we are able to resume these in line with Scottish Government Covid-19 guidance. Visit the 2021 graduation webpage for more information.

The unexpected benefits of a hybrid approach

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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.

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Resources for Interdisciplinary Researchers

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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. 

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Adapt, Support, Implement, Deliver: How the School of Mathematics adapted to hybrid teaching

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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.

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Need to know – 19 January

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Here are the top updates from across the University. 

1. A new Scan and Deliver service

The library has launched a new Scan and Deliver service for University of Edinburgh staff and students. You can request one chapter or 10 per cent (whichever is the greater) of a book, journal article, short story, poem or play – if not more than ten pages in an anthology – through DiscoverEd. Full details of the service can be found on the Scan and Deliver webpage.

2. Updated staff FAQs

The Coronavirus FAQs have been updated in line with the latest Government guidelines. The staff section now includes more information on how the University is complying to the latest guidance and the extended school closure. Read more on the University website.

3. Brexit impact and information

The University and Europe webpages have been updated to incorporate the latest advice and guidance now the UK has left the European Union. You can find more information for both staff and students on the University and Europe webpages.

4. Adaptation and Renewal Sharepoint updated

The Adaptation and Renewal (ART) Sharepoint has been updated to include the latest student support and services available, and will continue to be updated with Semester 2 information in line with Scottish Government guidance. Visit the ART Sharepoint.

Brexit and EU Research Funding – January 2021 update

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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.Europe and surrounding areas seen from space.

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Edinburgh Hybrid Learning Exchange – monthly digest (January 2021)

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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.

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Rolling out Covid-19 testing for students

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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.

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Need to know – 1 December

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Here are the top updates from the Adaptation & Renewal teams working across the University.

1. Update from Lee Hamill

Yesterday Lee Hamill shared the latest news on our current financial position. He spoke about our existing operating model, the challenges we face and the essential work underway to reshape and create a financially sustainable future. You can read the email in full on this webpage.

2. Asymptomatic testing for students

Following the information the Scottish Government published for students on the actions they will need to take to return home safely for the winter break, our Covid-19 testing service began this week. Testing is taking place at the Pleasance Sport Complex and Gym and St Leonard’s Land. More information, including FAQs can be found on the Coronavirus section of the University website.

3. Staff survey 2020

The 2020 staff survey is still open and can be accessed through the impulse website. The survey takes less than five minutes to complete and is open until Wednesday 9 December. This is your opportunity to have your voice heard and let the University know how to make our Edinburgh an even better place to work.

The Edinburgh Hybrid Teaching Exchange – monthly digest

Reading Time: 3 minutes

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 1An illustration of a bird's-eye view of a desk, with pens, pencils, papers and a computer and mobile phone

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:

Looking Towards Semester 2

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:

Contribute and Feedback

Please do consider contributing to the site or making use of the comments sections and let us know if you have suggestions for future themes and topics.

We’d also welcome your feedback on the site in the comments sections and we are currently running a five minute usability survey.

Illustrations: Kirsty Johnston, The University of Edinburgh, 2020. All rights reserved.

Need to know – 17 November

Reading Time: < 1 minute

Here are the top updates from the Adaptation & Renewal teams working across the University.

1. Updates on Semester 2 planning

A new sharepoint page is available with detailed information about Semester 2 guidance and planning. It will be regularly updated in line with the latest announcements from the Scottish Government. Adaptation & Renewal sharepoint website.

2. Christmas travel preparations

Last week communications went out to students about preparing to travel home for Christmas. In line with the Scottish Government plans to enable students to travel home safely, the University has started preparations for departure dates and safe travel as well as support for those students remaining in Edinburgh over the break.

3. Plans for Covid-19 testing

The University is working closely with the Scottish Government on implementing testing facilities for our students. Covid-19 tests will be available on a voluntary basis for students who wish to travel home. Communications have gone out to students and the University will continue to share the latest updates as soon as possible.

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