Who got that job?

January 20, 2006

Kate Dodd Director of student life, Birmingham University Advertised in The Times Higher, March 14, 2005 Birmingham University's decision to appoint a director of student life shows just how far institutions are prepared to go to satisfy their fee-paying students.

Kate Dodd's job is to ensure that the university meets the expectations of its students, a task that becomes more important from this autumn when new undergraduates start paying top-up fees.

"This is an enigmatic title and quite a new concept in the UK," Ms Dodd said.

"This role offers the opportunity to have a more holistic and strategic impact on the quality of life for students. In Australia, when fees came in, it was those institutions that planned ahead that were able to ride the crest of the wave."

Ms Dodd is also introducing strategies to help make students into highly employable graduates. "A recurrent theme of communications from industry, the Treasury and others is that there are not enough graduates with the qualities and skills that employers are looking for."

To address these issues, she has launched a personal skills award. "We want to give formal credit and encourage students to push themselves further to become more rounded people.

"The credits do not count towards a degree but can help students become more aware of broader society."

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