University calls for civic partners to help shape learning

Photo by Michael D Beckwith on Unsplash

KEY CIVIC partners are being sought by the University of Leeds to work alongside students to help shape a new postgraduate course module fit for the 21st century.

Leeds-based organisations from politics, culture and the community are being invited to apply to join the engagement and impact project, which will ask fundamental questions about the current and future role of the University in relation to its civic neighbours.

These external partners will play a key role in the new project, led the University’s Cultural Institute and Leeds Institute for Teaching Excellence (LITE). They will join academics and students to consider themes that should be explored within a University of Leeds education, such as the impact of Brexit on the region, the future of arts and culture in Leeds, and issues around sustainable city development.

Lesley Patrick, Collaboration Manager for DARE, a partnership already established between Opera North and the University, the first of its kind in the UK, says: “We are excited to build on our collaboration with the University of Leeds and continue to enhance student opportunities in new ways through this exciting project.

We aim to shape new ways of enabling students to develop the skills fundamental to a flourishing cultural sector regionally, nationally, and internationally.

The cultural sector is a major player in the landscape of Leeds, and we believe culture plays a key role in answering vital questions about the identity of our city, now and in years to come.

Having secured funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the project team is seeking to work with a range of organisations across the city, including community groups and grassroots organisations, who will be asked to shape themes for learning and research.

Partners will join a network of organisations who will have the opportunity to work with a cohort of dedicated, enthusiastic, and creative postgraduate students who can bring specialist skills and new ideas to address regional debates, challenges and opportunities.

Dr Raphael Hallett, Director at LITE says: “We want to ensure students have the skills necessary to engage with partners and apply their learning to ‘real life’ issues in the city.

Postgraduate students will be given the opportunity not just to study the module, but to develop it, connecting their academic learning and research skills to professional and public audiences beyond the University.

“Students are an integral part of the team developing this module. They bring a unique understanding to the design process, shaping the future learning opportunities of others.”

Karen Watson, artistic director of East Street Arts, said “The industry has long needed a module like this, which is both experimental and focused on ensuring students understand the context they have to operate within once out of university. It offers an excellent opportunity to build a connection between what students learn at university and how their skills are applied.”

The University’s Cultural Institute is holding a consultation and engagement session for anyone interested in learning more about the project or becoming a partner.  To register your interest in the event, to be held on 18th September at Norther Ballet, visit here.