Supporting activities to embed creativity and innovation as an implicit part of the bioscience student experience

Mackenzie, Francesca, Morgan, Anna, Stolinski, Michael, Baker, Amanda, Reid, Dwain, Mador, Martha and Page, Nigel (2021) Supporting activities to embed creativity and innovation as an implicit part of the bioscience student experience. In: Horizons in STEM Higher Education Conference: Making Connections, Innovating and Sharing Pedagogy; 29-30 Jun 2021, The Open University, U.K. (Held online). (Unpublished)


The Wakenham review (2016) identified mismatches in expectations between STEM HE providers and employers, particularly in areas such as creativity, innovation and enterprise; where a compounding factor for this deficit is likely the fact that much bioscience enterprise education was traditionally delivered as extracurricular. To address such disparities in the biosciences at Kingston University, we have initiated a strategy that involves much closer integration of our careers, employability and enterprise support services with the core curriculum activities. This has led to the embedding and contextualisation of several broader university initiatives such as the university’s enterprise competition and hack centre directly across all levels of our bioscience curricula. It has also generated new opportunities for students to work directly with employers and professional bodies in exploring and solving real-world scenarios and to work in interdisciplinary teams. These student initiatives have been also complimented with in school dedicated training sessions to empower and equip staff with the necessary tools in delivering enterprise education. These have prepared staff for developing and running a range of collaborative online enterprise events such as hackathons in the wake of COVID-19. These enterprise activities have provided opportunities for students to engage their creativity, capacity for innovation, teamworking, develop new online employability skills whilst tapping into their subject knowledge. Perhaps, moreover, during the time of COVID-19 they provide exciting, enjoyable and social activities alongside more traditional teaching and learning approaches. This presentation will share some of our experiences in developing, delivering and reviewing a range of bioscience enterprise activities including those online as well as demonstrating a successful collaboration of staff and effective use of resources across the university.

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