Skip to main content

Academic Enhancement

Two black female speakers at the Central Saint Martins Zine 1 launch at UAL in 2019
Central Saint Martins Zine 1 launch at UAL in 2019. Image courtesy of UAL

The Academic Enhancement Model (AEM) and Attainment team creates spaces for open, collaborative discussion to deliver a range of pedagogic initiatives. Working with staff and students we support the implementation of necessary change to curriculum and teaching practice.

A cross-university enhancement approach provides support to courses that fall below UAL benchmarked thresholds for student satisfaction, attainment and continuation.

An example benchmark is the awarding gap, which is the difference in the number of white students being awarded a First or 2:1 in their degree in comparison to students of other ethnicities. Research shows that the awarding gap is not attributable to individual students, their language abilities, prior qualifications or cultural backgrounds. Instead, research repeatedly cites a range of institutional factors, such as institutional cultures, curriculum and assessment practice, as the cause of disparity of outcomes for students of different ethnicities.

Our approach

Our cycle of activity involves the following stages:

  • Evidence - review NSS and Attainment data
  • Dialogue - strategic discussion with teams to identify priorities
  • Collaboration - plan and co-design workshops, events and training
  • Action - signpost staff development, joining up with UAL attainment network, completing actions
  • Reflection – review actions at Programme Committees and Continuous Monitoring meetings

Our story so far

The Academic Enhancement Model was established in January 2018, developing a package of approaches to support course teams’ enhancement work.

Since then, the AEM and Attainment team have worked in partnership with over 420 members of staff and 74 course teams across the University. Collectively this represents 12,107 students, or 82% of the undergraduate population.

In 2020 the team were delighted to receive a Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence (CATE), a prestigious national award from Advance HE.

Creative Shift

Creative Shift joined Academic Enhancement in February 2022. The programme works on improving and shaping diversity and equity in the creative industries. The team aim to empower UAL students who are least represented in the creative sector.

Contact us

Please contact individual Colleges for details of their local attainment staff.

Jheni Arboine

Educational Developer: Academic Enhancement (AEM College Lead CCW)

Liz Bunting

Educational Developer: Academic Enhancement (AEM College Lead LCF)

Catherine Caldwell

Educational Developer: Academic Enhancement (College Lead CSM)

Mallika Kanyal

Educational Developer: Academic Enhancement (College Lead LCC)

Amita Nijhawan

Academic Projects Lead

Betty Pondikakis

AEM and Attainment Administrator

Gemma Riggs

Digital Resource Developer

Siobhan Clay

The team is led by Siobhan, Head of Academic Enhancement

Keep up to date

Follow the Exchange Blog for more about attainment at UAL.

Visit the College specific blogs for local advice about teaching online:

Related content

  • Two female students in a workshop leaning over a piece of work with tools in hand
    Image courtesy of UAL
  • Man in purple shirt smiling whilst sitting at a Mac in a computer lab
    Karel Doing working in the studio. Postgraduate research, Wimbledon College of Arts. Photo: Alys Tomlinson.
  • Female student seen from behind with hand reaching up to read braille London Tube map
    Braille tube map by Ziyue Wang, MA Textile Design, Chelsea College of Arts. Photo: David Poultney
  • a student experimenting with technology hardware
    Student experimenting with technology hardware, Creative Computing Institute. Photo: Alys Tomlinson