The academic scene is threatened by heightened expectations and demands but shrinking income streams. With models of provision emerging, the outlook is reminiscent of the 1970s industrial scene, where pressures and opportunities radically reshaped the landscape, creating unexpected losers and winners.
It is critical, then, for universities to position themselves carefully in terms of their educational offering and research ambition. Since there are no risk-free options, a key strategic goal will be to quantify and manage risks exceptionally well.
Teaching, Learning and Student Experience
A key aspect of our work is is pedagogy.
Whatever strategy an academic institution adopts, being able to deliver a higher quality learning experience with better outcomes at lower cost can only enhance it.
Datchet Consulting can support module designers, with:
- Methods to blend online and face-to-face learning.
- Methods to track student engagement and progress
- Assessments that position performance within well-defined attainment thresholds.
- Assessment that creates a real-world learning experience.
- Content jointly developed and delivered with healthcare or industrial partners.
Research and Enterprise
Research strategy is exceptionally difficult, competing in many cases, with teaching and learning resources, and being shaped by on-campus strengths and off-campus opportunities. Moreover, with greater emphasis on research governance and dissemination of research material as well as results, the field is moving in many cases from a pursuit by the individual to a group activity.
Datchet Consulting is able to support institutions in their planning, especially as it relates to:
- Problem structuring:
- Enterprise, basic or applied research?
- Research profile in terms of discipline-specific and interdisciplinary research
- Aligning on-campus strengths with off-campus opportunities
- Effective ways to deliver the expertise, from student projects to research collaboration, consultancy or spin-outs.
- Pathways for research-as-a-product and research-as-a-service, to provide a strong development opportunities for those who engage while assuring the quality at each stage from early ideas to final delivery, project closure and publishing.
- Inward research, where ideas from other places are taken onto campus for further study and research with a view to relaunching them as advanced research themes.
- Regional innovation
- Virtuous circles in which enterprise activity leads to research which leads to educational opportunities, which lead to…
Alternatively you can read about our work in relation to healthcare.
Datchet Consulting is working with Brunel University London in aviation-related research. Transport faces extreme pressures (e.g. carbon footprint) and amazing opportunities (e.g. hybrid power), so a sustainable research theme is highly attractive: one that aligns funding with industrial aspirations, especially if it embraces artificial intelligence, logistics, new materials, and smart energy.
After establishing an industrial planning baseline, Datchet Consulting scoped out a set of possibilities with the Vice Provost Research to link key university strengths with the industrial targets. These were refined and expanded using interviews with industrial stakeholders and key academics into research themes. The key achievement of this phase was to identify a set of research capabilities, a clear picture of the sort of demonstrations based on them that would attract industrial attention, and the sub-domains in which the industry would like to see those demonstrations.
The ongoing phase is more diffuse in finding partners who want to work together, identifying programmes of mutual interest, and working towards the sweet spot of viable consortia wanting to pursue relevant projects under a sustainable mix of industrial and grant funding.