Learning and Teaching Matters

Archive for March 2008

The Strategy in Action

The Learning and Teaching week 2008 is being held in the week of the 31st March until 4th April.  The keynote address is being given by Professor Bob Burgess (VC at Leicester University) on “Beyond the Honours Degree Classification”.  Full details of all the events being held in the week can be found on our web site.


Three teams of five students from the School of Engineering Sciences (SES) has taken part in the IBM Universities Business Challenge 2007/2008. The universities business challenge is a training exercise that is built around a computer simulation of competing companies. Each team is representing one company, and has to make decisions about use of their funds for a defined trading period. Each training period is one week in the challenge and corresponds to six months of trading in the simulation. After each trading period, the various teams can get limited information about the behaviour of their competitors, such as prices of competing products, and full information about the performance of their own company.

The actions of each team do enter the simulation and will thus affect the performance of the otherteams – a realistic represenation of competing market forces. There were 232 teams taking part in the competition, and their business and investment strategies were entered via a webinterface. After six trading periods, the SES team AX3 made it to the semi-final hosted by BAE Systems in Farnbourough. At the one-day event, they competed with teams from Business, Management, Computer Science, Mathematics and Engineering schools from other universities. At the semi-finals, the pressure is increased as all decisions for a trading periods have to be made within 30 minutes. With their profit of 46.6 million pounds, team AX3 achieved an excellent second place in the event. They also won in the “Innovation and Creativity” category where an advert had to be developed and performed by the team members.

Students of all three teams were enthusiastic about the event: “This is an outstanding chance for engineering students to gain invaluable experience in dealing with business and financial aspects of managing a company. We would fully recommend this to anyone, no matter their previous experience in this area.” Students also appreciate employability aspects: “We definitely recommend the UBC to anyone, whether they have an interest in management or not [because] employers value teamwork above most things, and see a sense of business awareness as a vital asset. Both of these things are instilled by the UBC, and above everything else, it is great fun!”

The school of engineering sciences will carry on sending teams of students to take part in next year’sUniversities Business Challenge.


Team AX3 managing business decisions under time pressure at the semi-final in Farnborough.



There is a growing awareness among professional bodies and groups working in the field of student support of the need for higher education institutions to respond appropriately to situations where visible signs of illness, mental health difficulties, psychological, personality or emotional disorders may have a profoundly disturbing impact on the functioning of individual students and on the wellbeing of others around them.

The new Intervention Policy for students causing significant concern and/or risk is now available either from the Quality Handbook or from the Student Support Services web site.

At the February meeting of AQSC a revised version of the Guidance for Schools on using the Academic Integrity Statement was approved.  A number of changes were approved to the regulations in the Calendar and changes to this guidance document related to the changes in regulations, issues regarding serial and multiple incidents, issues involving two or more students in different roles (eg supplier and copier) and consideration of the possibility of consequential effects of imposed penalties.

The programme for Learning and Teaching Week has been finalised and is available on our website and in the flyers which we have just distributed to Schools and Services. Look out for posters advertising the event as well – it is based around one of the many superb public photos of the University available on Flickr, the photo-sharing website.