RHI English language courses - ‘New Directions’ May 2012
Session focus – what we’ll be looking at and our aims • Overview of Royal Holloway International’s current programmes • Shaping an ‘ideal’ Pre-Masters – interactive breakout session • ‘New directions’ – possible future opportunities Aims • To provide further information on current English language programmes on offer • To work together to identify the market for Pre-Masters courses and what kind of courses are competitive in this market • To consider the trends in English language courses and possible future directions
English for Academic Purposes (EAP) at Royal Holloway • Over 20 years experience of devising, writing and delivering EAP programmes at Royal Holloway • 1,500 students each year take our courses • 15 high qualified staff with an excellent track record for English language support: • iGraduate International Student Barometer 2010 – top 5 of ‘1994 group’ • iGraduate International Student Barometer 2011 – top 3 of ‘1994 group’ • Awarded Royal Holloway College Teaching Prize in 2011
Course focus - Pre-Masters Diploma for International Students (PDIS) • Overall aim of the programme: • to prepare international students holding overseas degrees for postgraduate study in the UK A dual focus: • development of academic English • study of a relevant academic area in some depth Details: • full-time nine-month programme, running from September to June • validated by Royal Holloway • taught on campus by qualified staff • approximately 35 students per year
Strengths of the current PDIS • Strength: integration into academic departments • 6000 – 8000 word Independent Project, supervised by academic from relevant department (up to 9 hours 1:1 support), and by RHI Personal Tutor • Strength: 1:1 tutorial support • 27 hours from RHI Personal Tutor: personalised support for Academic Unit, Independent Project, Study Skills, pastoral issues
Limitations of the current PDIS • Limitation: guaranteed progression not offered by RHUL • Although widely accepted by RHUL departments and other UK universities, there are no guaranteed progression tariffs, and entry to some specialist areas can be difficult (such as the Arts). • Limitation: students required to take IELTS at the end of programme • IELTS preparation means students planning to study at other universities are well prepared to take IELTS tests, however those progressing to RHUL don’t always see benefit of this.
Shaping an ‘ideal’ Pre-Masters We aim to: • Work more closely with academic departments to provide: • More targeted and integrated course provision • Clearer progression pathways without the need to re-take IELTS • Recruit from more diverse regions. • Recruit for a more diverse range of academic departments. • Generally raise the profile of RHUL’s Pre-Masters provision overseas But first we need to know where the Pre-Masters market is in your countries, and what the students want!
Shaping an ‘ideal’ Pre-Masters Break-out groups: • What would be included in an ‘ideal’ Pre-Masters • Who chooses to study a Pre-Masters and why? What is their motivation and what subjects are they looking for? • Are private providers more competitive? If so, what gives them the edge? Which other institutions are popular in your markets? • What are the most effective ways of promoting a Pre-Masters programme? You have 20 minutes for your discussions, and then we will feed back to the groups
Moving forwards • The model for UK HE is changing • RHI is actively pursuing new opportunities to cater for changing student demands • Emphasis on: • increased flexibility • greater convenience • continuing to provide value for the learner
New opportunities: Distance provision • RHI Distance learning • Online EAP programmes • Online exam preparation classes • Apps • Webinars • ‘Outreach’ online material • Selected online materials available free
Apps iTunes App Store Search for ‘exam tips’ RHUL Exam Tips App is available free Try it out! http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/exam-tips/id501673888?mt=8
New opportunities: Partnerships • Offshore provision - partnerships • RHUL is currently looking to extend the nature of its partnerships with organisations abroad. • For RHI this includes: • Delivery of tailored English language and Academic English courses • Delivery of the International Foundation Programme (IFP) • Delivery of English language and Academic Skills courses for students on RHUL degrees abroad
Opportunities in your market - feedback • How receptive would your market be to overseas RHUL programmes? Would there be demand for: • Example 1: ‘Franchise’. RHUL IFP programme delivered by a local private provider. Teaching delivered by partner teaching staff. RHI have overall academic oversight & RHUL award. • Example 2: RHUL PDIS programme delivered in partnership with local HE university / college. Teaching split between partner teaching staff and ‘flying faculty’ (RHUL staff deliver key lectures/classes). RHI have overall academic oversight & RHUL award. You have 10 minutes for your discussions, and then we will feed back to the groups
Summary • What we’ve taken from this session • Next steps in working together on English language programme development and promotion Thank you for listening and participating!