Exploring academic skills provision in HE
Article Date: 23/01/2017

Cardiff Metropolitan University, 25 April 2017

​Following the success of the 2015 conference on student engagement and online learning communities, L&IS and LTDU are pleased to be hosting a second event focused on approaches towards academic skills provision in higher education.

In recent years, a clear consensus has emerged in the literature surrounding the provision of what might be called 'academic' or 'study' skills in higher education that privileges an embedded approach over a deficit model (Creme and Lea, 1999). Indeed, some contributors to this literature have called for centrally-directed initiatives intended to implement this type of provision across entire institutions (Ganobcsik-Williams, 2004), an approach that has gained in popularity as academic / study skills have become near synonymous with 'graduate attributes', the skills or expertise closely linked to employability that universities seek to develop within students as they complete their programmes of study (Chalmers and Partridge, 2013).

The aim of this conference is twofold:

    1. to explore the practical efficacy of the embedded approach to academic skills provision, particularly in light of the evolving nature of metrics-driven teaching practices in the sector. Higher education is currently adapting itself to the competing pressures created by fluctuating student numbers, the impact of changes to student financing, the need to tailor learning and teaching to meet employability agendas, and the related shift in student expectations, reflected in the imminent implementation of the Teaching Excellence Framework. In light of this context, how realistic is it to pursue such an embedded approach to this type of provision?
    2. to consider what place academic skills provision should occupy within a university's learning and teaching activities. How might it be effectively defined in the context described above? Is this type of provision best dealt with by professional services, such as that offered by librarians, or should it fall exclusively within the remit of academic staff? How is the embedded approach perceived by academic or learning development staff? Moreover, given the emphasis on the student experience in the shaping of policy and procedure in higher education, how is it seen by students? How might its impact be effectively measured?


We are looking for papers showcasing best practice examples that address these or any related issues. Such examples might come from academic staff, but we are also keen to hear from colleagues working in professional services, such as librarians, academic skills advisors, learning developers, careers advisors, entrepreneurship facilitators, and student services advisors. As such, topics might be drawn from a range of curricular or co-curricula activities; examples of the latter might include information literacy sessions, PDP-type modules, group projects or workshops. We are also keen to explore these issues in the context of supporting the academic development of international students.

Tickets are free and may be ordered at:


If you are interested in contributing a paper to the conference, please submit an abstract of no more than 300 words for a paper approximately 20 minutes long to Dr Chris Dennis (L&IS) [ckdennis@cardiffmet.ac.uk] by Friday 3 March 2017.

For all other enquiries, please contact Dr Chris Dennis