The Role of the Academic Advisor

On 19th March over 60 staff from across The University came together for a fascinating, and we hope, really useful, event focused on The Role of the Academic Advisor.

Since The University initiated the change from Personal Tutor to Academic Advisor there has not been a university wide opportunity to wrestle with the impact of the change, how it is working, and especially to think about issues such as; what works well? What could be better? How can we ensure equity for students? How do staff and students get the information they need to support their academic and personal development? How could we use the resources such as Liverpool Life to support staff to support students? And, sneaking in at the end, what are the implications of the Higher Education Achievement Record?

We would like to thank the following people for their presentations:

  • Leah Ridgway, Electrical Engineering and Electronics: A personal view of her role as Academic Advisor.
  • Matt Murphy, Carnatic Hall Warden: Arguing for closer ties between the halls, as a transition point for students, and academic departments.
  • Jonathan Iggo, Chemistry: Looking at the role of personal tutor within the context of a department wide approach.
  • Janet Strivens, Centre for Lifelong Learning: The role of Academic Advisers in relation to assessment and feedback.
  • Warren Barr, School of Law and Social Justice: The Academic Advisor as a major gateway to engaging students with the huge variety of services and opportunities offered by the University of Liverpool.
  • Jo Sharp, School of Health Sciences: On a structured, whole school, approach to Academic Advising and support for personal development planning.
  • Freya Jarman, Music: The role of the Academic Advisor and the delivery of ‘study skills’ sessions for first year students as a transition into academic and student life.
  • Lynn Williams, School of Medicine: The adaptation of the Academic Advisor system to the five year, non modularised programme in medicine to cope with placements in the contexts of very a large student body.
  • Liverpool Guild of Students: What does an Academic Advisor look like? Using feedback from students LGoS highlighted key aspects of the role and discussed examples of best practice and how to identify and disseminate further good examples.

With everybody getting a chance to spend 15 minutes discussing six of these issues over the morning we had a really lively, interesting, and informative debate. Very tiring for presenters and participants alike. Professor Kelvin Everest, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Student Experience opened the event and lead a half-hour plenary session taking questions and discussing the challenges we face in improving the system whilst supporting the differences in approach that inevitably emerge in such a large and varied university. The outcomes and recommendations from the session will be drawn together for presentation at the next Student Experience Committee.

We have also invited Rob Ward of the Centre for Recording Achievement who is leading on the implementation of the Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR) to give a lunchtime presentation on 25th April at Liverpool. All welcome, please book your place here: Implementing the HEAR: Supporting student development Or search the CLL Booking system. If you are a staff member you can hear more about HEA here: … and find further information in the following booklets: HEAR the whole story (PDF) Don’t miss out on the best. – Your guide to Social Mobility in recruitment. (PDF)

We hope that those present found the event useful and we would welcome further feedback, suggestions, and ideas for ways in which Academic Advisors and students can be supported further.