By Samuel Dent, University of Sheffield
A report released by Sheffield University examines student perceptions about mobility and credit transfer and calls for the Office for Students to approach its new duty on this issue using a student-focused perspective, with the view that higher education providers could better facilitate transfers when the need arises.
According to the study, students see mobility as a student welfare matter; if a student realises they may need to change not only a course but an institution – often due to personal circumstances – current support offered by universities across the sector is limited.
Student feedback claimed that better mobility can help a student move to a university more suited to their changed needs, rather than ‘dropping-out’ of HE altogether. Currently students fear transferring to another university will be difficult, will devalue their degree and make them look unreliable, with lecturers equally expressing concerns about the intellectual integrity of a degree ‘broken’ across locations.
The report makes several recommendations to better help students in need, and had the support of FACE Chair Professor John Storan, who said:
This report is a very welcome addition to the debate about student mobility and credit transfer. Providing valuable insights into student perspectives the report identifies seven key recommendations. These are aimed at HE providers, Government, stakeholder groups as well as the Office for Students which has a duty to monitor the provision of arrangements for student transfer. A timely report indeed.”