Staffordshire University has a number of longstanding partners across the world. Building on the reputation that the university has gained through this successful collaborative activity, the five-year University Strategic Plan 2012-2017 has a principal objective to increase the size and scope of our international relationships by supporting the ambitious growth targets of our existing partners, strategically seeking new partners with common missions and strategic purpose and developing our presence internationally.
We grow opportunities for higher education participation using a variety of established arrangements including Franchised, Quality Assured, Dual and Joint Awards, International Outreach, Supportive Distance Learning, Articulation and Progression agreements. Each non-European and European partner undergoes a strict multi staged due diligence process prior to any validation undertaken to ensure an appropriate match of aims and objectives is found and the university reputation is maintained.
The range and type of provision is determined through collaboration between Staffordshire and the partner, based on both of our aims and objectives and highlighted potential in the market. All provisions are then developed and implemented using rigorous Quality assurance frameworks and are reviewed regularly.
In addition, as part of our central commitment to a high quality student experience, we aim to ensure that each student enjoys a research-informed curriculum and that each Staffordshire Graduate is work-ready and has an understanding of global issues and of their place in a globalised economy. Student and staff mobility have a significant contribution to make towards the realisation of this aim. Student mobility through international work placement opportunities is an increasingly important element of our student employability agenda. One of our main objectives with staff is the exchange of good teaching and learning practice, knowledge transfer and the development of joint and other awards as applicable.
The University’s applied research and knowledge transfer strategies are focussed on our highly specialised Applied Research Centres (ARCs). The University is growing its engagement with the EU in key areas where University ARC expertise and EU priorities coincide to support applied research activity.
The University has undertaken collaborative projects with partners in almost every EU member state and offers an established track record in the delivery and management of EU funded grants, including Framework Programme 7 (FP7).
The University has been at the forefront of nationally recognised initiatives in the areas of access, widening participation and diversity for many years and the mission and purpose of Staffordshire University remains the success of all people who form part of our local, regional and international communities. Our participation in the Programme will help us to meet our objective to grow opportunities for higher education participation both at home and overseas. For example, for students studying on one of our Franchised or joint awards we are ensuring that a quality UK university education is available to students outside of the UK to students who may not be able to afford or wish to study full-time in the UK.
We are committed to providing a high quality student experience and ‘placing students at the heart of everything we do.’ Central to this proposition is the quality of our learning and teaching and the relevance of our awards in a changing global society. Participation in the programme will help us to achieve our objective for a consistent increase in the numbers of staff engaged in curriculum related research, enterprise and advanced scholarship. Transnational partnerships between enterprises and education institutions through knowledge alliances, joint initiatives and the exchange of best practice will be used not only to enhance our provision and delivery but also to increase the number of international work placement opportunities for students. This all contributes to our Staffordshire Graduate initiative, which aims to equip graduates with the knowledge and core transferable competences they need to succeed in high-skill occupations at home and overseas.
Engagement in the programme will help us strengthen our links between education, research and business and regional development. As an important driver of economic regeneration through innovation, knowledge exchange, enterprise activity, business support and workforce development, the university is actively engaged at sub-regional level in the development of EU investment and skills development plans. Much of this work is being undertaken with partners from the government-backed, sub-regional, economic development organisation – the Local Enterprise Partnership.
Working in partnership is the central theme of our University Strategic Plan 2012-17 and plays a key role in our governance arrangements. Working with partners with similar aspirations and strategic goals helps us to maximize resources and expand higher education opportunities and the transfer of knowledge. Participation in the Programme facilitates the expansion of partnership work and access to funding, which will be used first and foremost to enhance the quality of the student experience underpinned by staff development and links with business and regional development initiatives.