Dr Rob Daley, Researcher Development Coordinator within the Academic Enhancement team has recently undertaken a development visit to Khulna University in Bangladesh. The main purpose of the visit was to run a three day workshop for new academic staff 'Introduction to Teaching and Learning in Higher Education". The workshop was based largely on the Heriot-Watt's Learning Enhancement and Development Skills (LEADS) programme with additional elements taken from the Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP).
The request was made to Academic Enhancement by from Dr Ashiq Rahman, a member of Academic Staff at Khulna University, who recently completed his PhD at the School of the Built Environment. The two institutions have an ongoing relationship with three of Dr Rahman's colleagues from Khulna having undertaken PhD studies in the School of the Built Environment. Dr Rhaman had previously undertaken the LEADS programme at Heriot-Watt and knew it would be an excellent fit for Khulna staff to prepare them for the challenges of teaching in higher education.
The development days held in November involved 20 academics and one PhD student. On completion of the programme, all the participants were presented with certificates by the Vice Chancellor of Kulna University Prof Dr Md Saifuddin Shah. This programme was part the wider "Higher Education Quality Enhancement Project" being run by the Urban and Rural Planning department in Khulna and being underpinned by funding secured by the Bangladeshi government through the World Bank.
Both the LEADS and PGCAP programmes are developed and run by Academic Enhancement on behalf of the University to develop knowledge and thinking around teaching and learning and are accredited by the Higher Education Academy.
Academic Enhancement will use the experience in Khulna to inform the development of a similar programme for Heriot-Watt staff in Malaysia later this year. In addition, this involvement is extremely beneficial to Academic Enhancement in further developing knowledge and expertise to deliver a truly international service.
Dr Rob Daley said: "I was very honoured to be invited to Khulna to deliver this programme. Designing and delivering this bespoke programme presented some significant challenges but the overall experience was very enjoyable and a great learning experience. I look forward to using what I have learnt to enhance the development provision for Heriot-Watt staff across all our campuses and especially in devising teaching development initiatives for staff at the new Malaysia Campus."