Implementing the HEAR: Supporting Student development

On 25th April 40+ staff enjoyed a presentation by Rob Ward of the Centre for Recording Achievement. We invited Rob as a direct result of discussion at a previous event exploring the role of the Academic Advisor. His extensive knowledge of the origins, development and current position of the Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR) made for an entertaining and informative session.

Rob described HEAR and its purpose, but also drew on the real experiences of other universities as they work towards  implementation. Most universities are developing a HEAR (only seven so far seem to have decided against doing so), and all are at different stages. Rob’s presentation can be viewed on the following page:

A key message from Rob is that an inclusive HEAR should be part of a system to support students’ development throughout their studies and provide evidence to help them to move forward into employment, training or further study with confidence. Certainly all the signs are that employers see real benefits in the HEAR. The Association of Graduate Recruiters have developed a series of pamphlets in support of HEAR.

Rob also emphasized the importance of working with The Guild who are fully behind the initiative. The link between the development of HEAR and Liverpool Life is becoming clearer and along with that the crucial importance of the Academic Advisor.

The next step is to develop Liverpool Life into the valuable tool it has the potential to be. One of the outcomes of the Academic Advisor event was the clear need for a new version of the old Personal Tutor handbook. This recommendation has been approved. At a recent Induction Working Group meeting we agreed to set up a process to develop handbooks for Academic Advisers tailored to each faculty and ready in advance of the next session. Rob’s presentation and the discussion that followed was really helpful in getting us thinking about how HEAR might work at Liverpool, and how it could benefit students. Further work now needs to be done for staff and students to be able to reap those benefits.

Anne Qualter