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Pro-Director for Education update - Lent Term 2020

Our colleagues’ continued high levels of engagement, creativity, and drive to develop and enhance education and student experience at the School, in partnership with students, have again been well evidenced throughout Michaelmas Term and into another busy Lent Term.

Our internal course-level survey results from Michaelmas Term show steady progress in all the areas we have focused on – through the LSE Academic Code, LSE Offer, and our strategic focuses on students’ voices and partnership, and learning community. Overall Satisfaction scores show slight increases for both undergraduate and taught postgraduate surveys (87.8% (up 1.7% points) for undergraduate (UG), and 88.2% (up 0.6% points) for taught postgraduate (PGT)). The significant gains made for assessment feedback timeliness and quality achieved last year have held with slight increases this year. Scores were between 85% and 97% for every question at the School average level for UG and for PGT across the three course-level surveys (course, lecturer, and teacher), except the question: ‘the criteria used in marking have been clear in advance’ (up 3% points, to 74% for UG, and up 1% to 82% for PGT). This is a composite question of the NSS Assessment and Feedback score at programme level (which is a TEF metric). It remains a key focus for us to improve on.

The main areas of student concern and query this academic year, across both UG and PGT students (distilled from a range of channels, including the MT Staff-Student Liaison Committee and Consultative Fora meetings) are: student mental health and wellbeing; course choice/selection; academic mentoring; study/Library space; sustainability; and, for some PGT students, course content not being diverse enough. All of these areas are being addressed by us already.

We are making good progress with developing a School-wide framework for a consistent LSE Offer for all students, complemented by a range of enrichment experiences through LSE Opportunities - in particular the donor-funded LSE Student Futures initiative that will develop experiential learning opportunities, curricular and non-curricular, outside the classroom.

Colleagues are warmly invited to attend the LSE Student Futures launch on Tuesday 16 June, 3-5pm, in the Sheikh Zayed Theatre, which will be a major event with a wide range of students, staff and partners.

The wellbeing of our students continues to be a key focus. The Student Mental Health and Wellbeing Framework is launching this term with a commitment statement, an articulation of the longer-term narrative (over 2 years), and some initial staff and student actions to immediately engage with. This work is closely linked with SU-led activity, and with parallel work on staff mental health and wellbeing, also launching this year. As you know, efforts to support student wellbeing are complemented by the five-year Inclusive Education Action Plan that launched this year seeking to foster an inclusive scholarly community, with a particular focus this year on academic mentoring.

Students continue to be part of creating change at LSE, with a sustained focus on students’ voices and partnership. The new Student Partnerships Coordinator (Lydia Halls) is in post in the LSE Eden Centre. The School and the Students’ Union are working together on a number of areas, including close collaboration on developing and supporting student academic representation and its effectiveness in the School. The Unitu pilot (software for enabling all students’ voices and better action and feedback loops) launched at the start of Lent Term, taking place in five larger departments for the next 18 months. LSE Change Makers applications were up this year (the second year of operation) and increased central funding has meant an increase in funded projects underway this year (to 28), across a wider range of departments and year groups. Recommendations arising from 2018/19 projects are being acted on.

The Course Selection Improvement Project has been launched, to start scoping and addressing certain aspects of students’ primary area of concern (alongside mental health and wellbeing) – course choice and selection. This complex body of work will take time to deliver on, and is highly interdependent with broader education and assessment enhancement work at the programme and course levels.

In terms of curriculum development, a revised programme structure and content for the BSc Economics and a new BSc Data Science have now been approved, and these exciting new programmes will be at the forefront of our future educational offer. We are also establishing a task and finish group to consider the future of interdisciplinary education at LSE, in particular through LSE100.

Finally, Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) is a key strand of the new Sustainability Advisory Group, chaired by Professor Nick Stern. A scoping paper is under discussion for what ESD can mean in an LSE context, identifying, drawing on and enhancing various existing good practice, and developing and supporting new activity in this important area of Educate for impact.

6 February 2020 

Previous updates

December 2019

End of Michaelmas Term message from Professor Dilly Fung, Pro-Director for Education

As term draws to a close, I wanted to share some thoughts on our achievements during a busy yet stimulating Michaelmas Term at LSE in 2019. 

Achievements in collaboration   
Our focus this term has been embedding work already being undertaken and streamlining activities wherever possible. Thank you all for everything you’ve been doing; so many activities have been taking place across the School to strengthen our existing educational provision while introducing engaging new approaches such as peer study groups. Imaginative assessment methods are flourishing, while we also focus on ensuring that we’re not over-assessing students.

What has felt so different this term is the spirit of partnership between students and staff and the cooperation across departments, divisions and services to achieve our collective ambitions. It was fantastic to see an enhanced School Welcome for all students in 2019 - my warm thanks to the new Welcome Steering Group, a collaboration between the School and the LSE Students’ Union.

A new set of student Change Maker projects also reflects an engaged student body who recognises that we are open to understanding their views and making improvements with them where necessary. You can see this year's new projects online.  

Educate for Impact in practice  
Whilst Michaelmas Term has been a period of embedding, there have also been exciting new developments, in line with our LSE 2030 plans to ‘Educate for Impact’. New degree programmes, including a new UG Economics curriculum and a BSc in Data Sciences, have been developed, and Academic Board has approved our plan to introduce resits to postgraduate students, following the successful introduction of in-year resits for first year UG students this year.

In September we launched the LSE Eden Centre, bringing educational, technological and developmental expertise of the Teaching and Learning Centre (TLC) and Learning Technology and Innovation (LTI) into one Service. Drawing on evidence-based research, the Eden Centre will focus on offering guidance to departments, academic staff development, curriculum enrichment and digital educational innovation. A developing range of resources for colleagues to draw on is available online.

A series of collaborative sessions with staff is being offered, focusing on inclusive educational practices such as academic mentoring, enhancing students’ sense of belonging in the classroom and strengthening learning communities. This work will continue next term, and I encourage you to look at the Eden events and programme and take part. Do sign up for Lent Term Education Forum and other Education events coming up online.

Across our School, we have also shared good practice. There have been many other positive discussions thanks to the new networks we have created as a community, with colleagues coming together to share what works well, for example, as programme directors and programme managers and administrators. At the same time, I'm grateful to students and staff for contributing to our lively education forum meetings, where this term we focused on National Student Survey (NSS) themes and postgraduate students’ experiences, with such energy and enthusiasm.

At its core, achieving our ambitions for LSE 2030 comes down to working together, and I'm delighted that our networks and new committee structure are vehicles for this activity to flourish and thrive in open dialogue. If you don’t feel that your voice is being heard, please don’t hesitate to get in touch - every perspective is valued.

Looking ahead 
As we look to the year ahead I wanted to remind colleagues that our undergraduate students have an opportunity to use their voices to help shape LSE through the undergraduate survey and NSS. Please do look out for further updates and encourage students to take part. Also, do remember that there is a range of support and funding available to help with your own student education and experience endeavours. Visit the Eden webpage for guidance and resources.

Thank you once again for your continued input and contributions. I've very much enjoyed my second Michaelmas Term as Pro-Director for Education and I look forward to working with you in the year ahead at LSE. 

Dilly Fung
Pro-Director for Education

12 December 2019

November 2019

What is Education for Global Impact?

Below you can watch Professor Dilly Fung, LSE Pro-Director for Education explain its centrality to the work of education-supporting staff and student partners at LSE.

Education for Global Impact Education for Global Impact
Education for Global Impact (Credit: LSE Internal Communications)


12 November 2019

October 2019

Dear colleagues, 

I am delighted to announce the launch of the LSE Eden Centre for Education Enhancement. The Eden Centre will bring the educational, technological and developmental expertise of the Teaching and Learning Centre (TLC) and Learning Technology and Innovation (LTI) into one integrated, staff-facing team.

Drawing on evidence-based research, the LSE Eden Centre will focus on guidance for departments, academic staff development, curriculum enrichment and digital innovation. It will work with colleagues across our School and in partnership with students to enhance research-rich education in line with the priorities of LSE 2030, as well as themes emerging from the UK Teaching Excellence Framework and the School’s Access and Participation Plan.

Further updates will follow from Dr Claire Gordon, Head of the Eden Centre and other members of the team. 

Professor Dilly Fung

Pro-Director for Education, LSE

3 October 2019

For recent analysis of education data at LSE, see our Education Analysis page.

To receive regular updates from the LSE Eden Centre team, please email them to subscribe to their mailing list. You can read previous issues below.

#3 - 24 January 2020

#2 - 20 November 2019

#1 - 16 October 2019