When considering resilience in taught postgraduate (PGT) provision, the very tight timelines and a high number of part-time students add in an extra layer of complications to the concept. This project involved a mixture of academic and professional staff and students from 4 Scottish universities (University of Edinburgh; Heriot-Watt University; University of St Andrews; University of the West of Scotland). Our aim was to identify what resilience looks like in a PGT learning community. By considering resilience as it related to different groups, and the contextual factors likely to promote resilience in these groups, the project developed resources to facilitate discussions on resilience across the sector.
We produced a three-part resource that has discussion points for different members of the PGT community to consider. For senior leadership teams, these points relate to the culture within universities and acknowledge that resilience is not about making an individual more able to survive in an adverse culture, it is about creating an environment in which people can thrive. Discussion points are provided for programme teams to consider when reviewing or developing programmes. The final set of prompts is designed to be used by academic and other staff to use with their students.
As part of our deliberations, we have been using Padlets which are being populated on an ongoing basis as we receive feedback on this work. Please feel free to look at these and add your thoughts.
The final meeting of the group was also ‘live drawn’ by Ogilvie Design, and we have created a SWAY with these images to allow colleagues to follow the path of our discussions and facilitate reflection.
While these resources are important, as a group the most valuable outcome for us was the positive benefit to our own resilience. At a time when university campuses were closed, and we could not meet in person, to have time carved out to explore a topic together gave us an ongoing connection to colleagues.