Award winning response to pandemic teaching challenges

Wednesday 21 October 2020

SIE Awards
RGU won the Imaginative Educator Awards’ team category for planning and delivering multiple programmes during the pandemic which prepare students for the future needs of industry and the economy by developing their entrepreneurial skills, knowledge and mindsets.

The awards recognise exceptional responses from educators to the challenges rising from the COVID-19 pandemic. The winners were announced at the Scottish Institute for Enterprise (SIE)’s Shaping the Future online conference.

The accolade comes swiftly after SIE awarding RGU self-accreditation status for the Scottish Innovation Student Award (SISA) in June. The planning and delivery of this in-house accreditation process, embedded across RGU, was a major factor in the university’s success at the Shaping the Future Conference.

Chris Moule, Head of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at RGU, said: “Universities are undergoing profound change during the pandemic and RGU has responded with agility and a stead-fast student focus. Working in partnership with SIE for the benefit of our students has resulted in RGU having the highest number of successful participants in SISA from any university in Scotland. This award is testament to the dexterity and dedication of our students, academic staff, our Employability team, Governance and Academic Quality – and our cohesive approach and commitment to our student's whole person education and lifelong learning".

SISA self-accreditation powers help academic staff to identify and put in place innovative teaching and skills development practices within their own modules for the benefit of students.

As well as being the first university to commence self-accredited SISA modules, the Imaginative Educator Award took into account RGU’s swift and effective transition to online teaching methods for lectures, tutorials and assessments in response to the pandemic.

The award also celebrated RGU for introducing an online Entrepreneurship Summer School in August: a modular programme aimed at graduates. The summer school builds confidence and equips students with business building skillsets highlighted by the World Economic Forum and The Scottish Government.

Fiona Godsman, Chief Executive of SIE said: “The best responses had the potential to build a positive legacy beyond the current crisis and address the challenges of the future. The winners, and all of the finalists, should be very proud of themselves.

“During the summer-long Festival of Innovation, we have sought to provide inspiration, support, and recognise the excellent work of our educators here in Scotland and the imagination and potential of our students. While it came to an end with the conference, there is much to celebrate.

“Scotland’s universities and colleges have proven themselves up to not just the current crisis but the challenges of the future.”

RGU’s demand-led approach to teaching, highlighted by the Imaginative Educator Awards, has been greatly appreciated by the university’s students. Revealed during the summer, RGU rose to second in Scotland for overall student satisfaction in the National Student Survey, and second in the UK when excluding small, specialist and private providers.

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