The Current Situation
The Strategic Context
Leeds University has almost 21,000 students on campus and 5,000 staff. Over
500 undergraduate degree programmes are offered, with an expanding programme of
part-time degrees. Also, the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry, Psychology and
Health links to the two major teaching hospital trusts in the city and the
university is the centre of a network of associated colleges covering many
fields of endeavour from health studies to dance.
The core of the university's mission is to promote excellence and to achieve
and sustain international standing in higher education teaching, learning and
research. The university is achieving this in the context of its teaching and
learning strategy by means of a very wide ranging and multi-layered approach,
to the provision and support of the student's learning experience. This
includes amongst other things, supporting course delivery on the web as well as
the supply and support of good quality teaching space.
The university recognized five years ago that there were significant problems
associated with the supply and support of its central teaching spaces:
- the accommodation and facilities were, at that time, falling below
the standard expected by the teaching and learning community;
- a limited range of teaching space support services was available;
- the organisation and delivery of `fit-for-purpose' space to
end-users was becoming inadequate;
- there was no system for recovering the cost of central teaching
space from those who used it most.
A trend to transfer `departmental' teaching space to the `centre' exacerbated
the general problems. This trend followed the introduction of charging for
space (as part of an overheads charging model at Leeds). The space handed over
has, occasionally, been in poor condition, with no audio-visual facilities and
no day - to - day management or support.
Substantial improvements have been made in the standard of accommodation and
facilities in many of the central spaces and there is an improved range of
support services, but some problems remain. Also, teacher/learner expectations
have continued to rise, often beyond the capacity of the university to meet
them. Teaching space has become one of the factors included in the scoring for
Teaching Quality Assessment.
This report sets out to describe how Leeds identified and then tackled the
problems and issues connected with its need to deliver fit - for- purpose
teaching and learning accommodation and services. The report, written from the
point-of-view of a major service provider:
- reviews the current situation at Leeds;
- sets out the issues associated with developing and implementing the
teaching space strategy and outlines the actions agreed to address the issues;
- summarizes the strategic context for our planning.