12 tips on how to work across a university

Baverstock, Alison (2016) 12 tips on how to work across a university. Times Higher Education,


I first heard of pre-arrival shared reading schemes for freshers while at an academic conference in the US. Research has shown they can benefit enrolment, engagement and retention in universities by promoting a sense of community before students arrive. Long interested in literacy and the encouragement of reading for pleasure, I was keen to develop something similar in the UK, and used an opportunity for staff-student research projects at Kingston University to first investigate and then launch The KU Big Read. In August 2015 we sent a free bespoke edition of Nick Hornby’s About a Boy to every student about to join us, and invited them to discuss the book during the first weeks of term. While many universities talk about ‘whole organisation thinking’, staff loyalties often nestle closer to their immediate department or administrative team. In getting this project off the ground, we had to think wider. Here are twelve top tips for anyone trying to engage a whole university community.

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