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The Current Situation
The Issues
The Strategic Context

Case Studies

1 Introduction

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.

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