Value for money: HE Co-Lab Network 2019

View all tags
Pearson HE Co-Lab event London March 2019

Members of the HE Co-Lab Network discussed value for money at the latest event in London.

The network brings together those working in teaching and learning through a dedicated LinkedIn group and at a series of live events throughout the year. It aims to inspire new ideas and gives leaders the chance to collaborate on issues facing their institutions and hear examples and best practice from universities around the country.

The latest event, held at Wallacespace in Clerkenwell, focused on the theme of “Value for Money”. We were joined by 17 colleagues from universities on March the 6th.

Case studies

First to speak was Professor Mark Simpson - Pro Vice-chancellor of Learning and Teaching at Teesside University. His engaging talk focused on the university’s Future Facing Learning strategy which enhances the digital skills of staff and students.

Dedicated learning environments have been created to encourage more interactive teaching and all new full-time students at the university are given iPads as well as vouchers for textbooks alongside a mandatory digital development programme.

The standardisation of devices - all students are guaranteed to have access to the same books and equipment - led to the successful integration into learning and 85% of students agreed they have had the opportunity to use their iPad and software to support learning.

Dr Paul Redmond, Director of Student Experience and Enhancement at the University of Liverpool, spoke enthusiastically about the difference between recruitability and employability.

The digital technological revolution means more and more jobs are being automated with students needing to learn a whole new set of skills aside from those traditionally taught by universities. Deloitte estimates 100,000 Jobs in the legal sector alone could be automated in the next 20 years. Where does this leave students?

Members of the HE Co-Lab Network meeting in March 2019

Dr Redmond explored how teaching and learning leaders can ensure value for money for their students by sending them into the workplace with the key skills they need to be employable throughout their lives.He says students should be focusing on ICE - Innovation, Creativity and Enterprise in order to succeed.  

Shaping Higher Education policy

Attendees at the network were also given an exclusive look at data produced by HEPI into students’ views on the financial health of universities.

A day ahead of the official release, Nick Hillman, Director of HEPI, shared insights gained from their latest Policy Note “Students Back Bailouts”; based upon research with over 1000 full-time undergraduate students conducted for HEPI by YouthSight.

Mr Hillman discussed value for money from a student’s perspective – sharing valuable insight into where they think fees should go and the accountability of institutions.

The second half of the Co-Lab Network meeting gives attendees the opportunity to work on issues facing their institutions.

Breaking into smaller groups, they each present a problem, challenge or goal and then use the expertise of the others in the group to come up with a set of actions.

There were lively conversations around a wide range of topics and by sharing what has worked in other similar situations and debating the best way forward with others in the same type of role, it allows solutions to emerge and every participant leaves with a clear set of actions.

“I found the event enjoyable, the action learning was amazing. It was a huge opportunity to share challenges, new ideas and the push to take away specific commitments was really motivational.”

- Sue Morrison, Head of the Centre for Student Life at the University of Derby

Working together

The Co-Lab events and the LinkedIn group gives members a chance to connect with colleagues at different institutions.

At Pearson, it allows us to bring people together and better understand the issues and challenges facing the sector.

How to join the Co-Lab Network 

Membership of the Co-Lab Network is open to staff working for a UK Higher Education institution with a cross-institutional remit to drive excellent teaching and learning.

To find out more about the network and the dates and topics for the next event, email

Filter by tag