New Team members joining the Exchange

The Teaching and Learning Exchange will be welcoming a number of new colleagues over the coming months to support various key projects that align with our institutional objectives.

Within Arts Education, Dr Rachel Marsden and Neil Currant have joined the academic programmes team, respectively as Lecturers in Practice-based Research and Thinking Teaching. We have created a new Attainment team, where Dr Clare Warner and Vikki Hill will be working together to lead and coordinate our work to eliminate our attainment differentials at UAL. They will be supported by our new Digital Resource Developer, Gemma Riggs. Last but not least, Alexandra Pitt will join as a new Educational Developer with a focus on our reward and recognition programmes.

Joining Digital Learning are Peter Beare as Digital Learning Coordinator and Darren Gash as Digital Learning Manager, supported by Hannah Hyde as Digital Learning Engagement Support.

And finally, we welcome Dr Emily Salines to UAL. Emily will join the AEM team and will be the LCC AEM Lead.

We’d also like to say a huge thank you and good luck to Dr Nick Addison, who retires at the end of January. We are very sorry to see Nick go, whose excellent teaching has touched many at UAL. We’ll miss his vast knowledge of arts education and warm, subversive presence, but we’re not sad because he’s off to enjoy painting and reading by the sea.

We look forward to introducing our new colleagues to you over the coming months. Please join us in making them all feel welcome at UAL.

New team Member Biographies

Dr Rachel Marsden – Lecturer in Practice-based Research
Rachel has joined the Academic Practice course team (replacing Nick Addison). Rachel is a lecturer, curator and arts writer, researching transcultural studies, cultural translation and curatorial practices in China and the Asia-Pacific. She is also focused on the development of practice-led/based (arts and curatorial) curricula towards “pedagogies of practice” and emerging cultural leadership.

Neil Currant – Lecturer, Thinking Teaching
Neil will be delivering the Thinking Teaching short course across UAL (replacing Vikki Hill). Neil is an extremely experienced educational developer who joins us from Oxford Brookes University, having previously worked at Salford and Bradford Universities. He is currently writing up his EdD, on Black and Minority Ethic student experiences of belonging, a study that he has developed through storytelling and critical race theory.

Dr Clare Warner – Educational Developer (Curriculum and Assessment)
Clare will be joining the UAL Attainment Team in March, from Westminster College where she is Coordinator and Lecturer in Teaching Training. Her courses recruit a diverse community of students who want to become teachers in FE and she is proud that the course she leads does not have an attainment gap. Clare has recently completed a PhD at Goldsmiths University. Her PhD thesis explores the experiences of African-Caribbean education practitioners/grassroots organisations applying to open Free schools in London. Clare has led a range of projects addressing attainment differentials across all areas of education from primary to university level. This work has been shared widely.

Vikki Hill – Educational Developer (Attainment – Identity and Cultural Experience)
Vikki joined UAL in 2016 as the lead for the OFS Catalyst funded Changing Mindsets Project. Deploying a range of diverse and creative approaches Vikki has ensured that this project has secured very strong student and staff engagement from across UAL. The website she developed ( to share this work is a testament to the ways that she deploys research informed creative approaches to address attainment differentials. Vikki has particular expertise in the area of supporting student and staff understanding of growth mindsets, implicit bias and stereotype threat, and has shared her work at a range of conferences and staff development events. Vikki is a practising artist and before working at UAL Vikki was programme team lead in art and design at Newham Sixth Form College.

Gemma Riggs – Digital Resource Developer: Attainment
Gemma will be working with colleagues in the Teaching and Learning Exchange to ensure that attainment enhancement resources are shared in a range of high quality and engaging digital formats. Gemma is currently a Visiting Lecturer at RCA and her creative portfolio displays a wide range of digital media and communication work including work created while she was working at LCF in her role as Network Research Facilitator. Gemma is a freelance film maker and has managed large scale international film projects.

Alexandra Pitt – Educational Developer (Reward and Recognition)
Alexandra will be joining the Arts Education team in April as an Educational Developer with a special focus on promoting reward and recognition for teaching staff. Key to her role will be developing UAL’s current HEA accredited CPD scheme to support more staff to attain Fellowship. Alexandra will be joining UAL from Middlesex University, where she is currently a Senior Lecturer. She has been teaching in higher education for twenty years and brings a wealth of experience to her role. Her educational background spans English Language Teaching and Linguistics, Art History and Creative Writing, and she has plenty of ideas about using a variety of writing techniques to reflect on professional practice.

Peter Beare – Digital Learning Coordinator
Peter joins us from London Met University where he has been supporting the use of their Digital Learning platforms, including Moodle. He has a background in media production which includes lecturing in the subject. Peter will be working on defining and supporting effective practice in Digital Learning as well as contributing to staff development.

Darren Gash – Digital Learning Manager
Darren joins us from Surrey University where he has been leading on the development of staff digital competencies and pedagogical insight across the institution. He has a background in TEL and in leading creative media degrees. Darren will be focusing on expanding our Digital Learning staff development offer and the strategic development of Digital Learning practices.

Hannah Hyde – Digital Learning Engagement Support
Hannah joins us from the commercial sector where she works in PR and marketing. She will be focusing on engaging UAL staff with our Digital Learning offer, keeping our online presence fresh and supporting events and workshops.

Dr Emily Salines – Academic Enhancement Model (AEM) Project – LCC Lead
Emily joins us from Greenwich University where she was a Senior Lecturer in Learning and Teaching. Emily has been leading on a range of cross university enhancement projects. For example, she has been leading an assessment enhancement project at Greenwich as well as offering cross university support in the area of curriculum design. This work links to the work that Greenwich are doing as part of their Catalyst funded OFS funded Attainment Project. Emily is a Senior Fellow of the HEA and her PhD is in French and Comparative Literature.


Teaching and Learning Fund 2019: Awards Announced

Colourful abstract hexagonal image

Image courtesy of UAL

The Exchange is delighted to announce the projects which have been successful in this year’s funding round. We had a range of excellent applications, covering topics as diverse as teaching ethics, virtual reality in the classroom, how to sew, and social media and marketing for Fine Art professionals. The outcomes will also vary, from classroom and workshop projects to online resources and podcasts.  All the chosen projects will make significant and innovative contributions to teaching and learning at UAL.

We had to make some tough decisions, but are very pleased that £50,000 has been awarded across 17 selected projects.  Thanks to everyone who submitted an application. Congratulations to all those chosen, and we look forward to hearing about your work over the next year.

  Project Lead Project Title College Category
1 Charlie Abbott Whose History? CCW: Camberwell Curious, Creative Curricula
2 Emma Lacey The Ethics of Participation: Collaboration with Central Saint Martins and The British Ceramics Biennial CSM Curious, Creative Curricula
3 Sinead Evans Re-Illustrating Histories and Voices: through co-created teaching resources CCW: Camberwell Curious, Creative Curricula
4 Claire McCormack and Chris Roberts Let’s meet at the wobbly bridge. CSM/CCW Curious, Creative Curricula
5 Silke Lange and Rebecca Ross Co-creating Learning Tools for Incorporating Practical Ethics into Higher Education in Design CSM Curious, Creative Curricula
6 Tim Meara and Lucy Alexander Bauhaus 100 – Unser Haus CSM Curious, Creative Curricula
7 Anne Eggebert Workshops as a model of practice explored in the primary and secondary sector CSM Curious, Creative Curricula
8 Marco Eastwood Building Effective Interactive Instructional Videos for Technical Inductions LCC Digital Learning
9 Anne-Marie Creamer The UAL DPS Support Centre CSM Digital Learning
10 Hywel Davies How to Sew: Instructive and inclusive digital resources CSM Digital Learning
11 Judy Willcocks Embodied Virtualities: Exploring VR for Creating, Curating and Conservation CSM Digital Learning
12 Chris Follows Socially Engaged Digital Practice CCW Digital Learning
13 Oonagh O’Hagan and Nichol Keene FOUNDATIONS – a podcast series to answer all the questions you have at the end of class. CSM Digital Learning
14 Elizabeth Peebles Podcast: [Critical Conversations] CCW: Chelsea Digital Learning
15 Peter Maloney and Cyril Shing Learning the Virtual and Learning Virtually: A small scale exploration of learning and teaching with and for Virtual Reality technology for curriculum development in Interior and Spatial Design CCW: Chelsea Digital Learning
16 Geraint Evans and Jordan McKenzie On (The) Cloud Nine – Innovative social media and marketing strategies for Fine Art Professionals CCW: Wimbledon Employability and Enterprise
17 Carla Sorrell Industry Showcase: Product & Ceramic Design CSM Employability and Enterprise

Decolonising the Arts Curriculum, one college at a time…

Artwork courtesy of Disha Deshpande

Since the Decolonising the Arts Curriculum zine was launched back in June, it has helped to open up numerous channels of productive discussion across UAL and the sector. It featured at the Changing Mindsets Conference at the University of Portsmouth, University of East London’s  Teaching and Learning Symposium and UAL Academic Leader’s Forum, and acted as a conversation starter at the UAL Attainment Conference, organized by the Teaching and Learning Exchange.

Much of these discussions centre around themes captured in the zine, the main one being the curriculum – what it constitutes and how specific course curricula relate to the institution as a whole, moving beyond reading lists to consider decolonisation of wider systems and structures influencing what is taught. The other recurring theme is the persistent underrepresentation of academics and students of colour in the arts academy.

Aside from sparking discussion, the zine is also influencing the development of decolonised arts research which is connecting creative practices and pedagogies. As decolonisation grabs the attention of so many and securing support from the institution, we are mindful of something one of the zine contributors state in their essay, a caution to be ‘watchful of ‘decolonisation’ not turning into another trend, but a form of criticality to shake the very group on which UAL stands’ (M.F. 2018, p.17).

Image credit: Crudo Volta & Tommaso Cassinis

Our next step is to open up more spaces for such criticality, with a series of exhibitions and events across the UAL colleges through 2018-19. The Teaching and Learning Exchange are continuing to work in collaboration with the Arts Student Union on developing and facilitating this programme, plus new collaborations with academics, students and librarians at each college to explore decolonization at a more local and disciplinary level.

The series kicks off at the London College of Communication from 4-31 October, with an exhibition in the main Library space and across vitrines in the canteen and Typo café, complimenting other events being organized by the Arts Student Union for Black History Month. Students and staff are invited to attend events on Thursday evenings through October from 5-7pm, in which they will hear recitals from Zine #1 contributors, discussions about decolonising the LCC locale and disciplines, and finally to participate in a critical production event exploring ‘the zine as decoloniser’.

This will be followed by exhibitions and events across the Camberwell, Chelsea and Wimbledon Colleges from November to January, then London College of Fashion in the spring and Central Saint Martins in the summer for the anticipated launch of Zine #2. The exhibitions, events and production of Zine #2 intend to sustain such criticality and to continue prompting the ‘opening up of creative spaces to facilitate the production of culture informed by indigenous thinking and doing’ (Singh 2018, p.1).

Read the Zine and find out how you can participate by visiting:

Lucy Panesar and Rahul Patel


Dr Bonnie Stewart: UAL’s first online Visiting Fellow

Dr Stewart will bring her expertise in digital scholarship and online education to the university via the Teaching and Learning Exchange. Based in the Faculty of Education at the University of Windsor in Ontario, Canada, Bonnie will lead open seminars and expert consultation as part of her fellowship.

Dr Stewart recently helped to design and run the ‘Engagement in a Time of Polarisation’ MOOC (Massively Open Online Course) in the ‘edX’ platform founded by Harvard University. She is well known internationally for her work on open and equitable teaching practice online, and for exploring the intersections of Twitter and scholarship.

There will be opportunities to hear Dr Stewart speak with plenty of Q&A time as part of an online seminar series on Digital Learning and Digital Culture. Dr Stewart will also be advising on the development of Open Practice Teaching principles as UAL continues to explore taking creative teaching and making online.

Welcoming the appointment, UAL Head of Digital Learning David White said: “I’m delighted that we have appointed Dr Bonnie Stewart as our first online Visiting Fellow. She will help UAL to develop its open and inclusive educational practices as we continue to extend our teaching and learning into online spaces.”

Plans are still in the early stages but if you are interested in connecting with Dr Stewart then please get in touch with David White.

CALLING UNDERGRADUATE COURSE LEADERS – Invitation to participate in a national research project

documents and hands writing

Image courtesy of UAL 

The role of the course leader

Elizabeth Staddon of the Teaching and Learning Exchange is currently engaged in a cross-institutional study focussing on the role of the course leader.

Recognising the significance of this role to institutions and their students, the research team will be exploring and making recommendations about how the course leader role is allocated and defined by universities, the range of activities course leaders do and should undertake, and associated professional development needs and support.

Call for participants

We are looking for participants who lead undergraduate degree programmes at UAL to take part in one or more of the following:

  • Focus group interviews with other course leaders at UAL
  • Periodic short online surveys to capture your role-related activities and any developmental needs as experienced, and/or
  • (Brief) one-to-one telephone interviews

Update 25/9/18:

Thank you to everyone who has applied to take part so far, it is very much appreciated.

Please do continue to get in touch if you would like to get involved: we are particularly interested in hearing from new or recently appointed Course Leaders.

Get involved!

Please contact Annika Coughlin at UCL, Institute of Education, London:  if you are interested in taking part in any aspect of this study.

You will have an opportunity to ask questions about the research, confidentiality, anonymity and your right to withdraw from the study.

Thank you in advance for your contributions, and do stay tuned: we will of course share the results of this research with all of you in due course.

Zine launch: Decolonising the Arts Curriculum

Image: Decolonising the Arts Curriculum zine and call for further contributions


On Thurs 14 June staff from UAL and Arts SU, and UAL students, came together to celebrate the official launch of a new zine, ‘Decolonising the Arts Curriculum: Perspectives on Higher Education.’

Lucy Panesar, Educational Developer (Diversity & Inclusion), Teaching & Learning Exchange 

Over the last six months the Teaching and Learning Exchange has been working with the Arts Students Union to co-create a zine for staff and students to share thoughts, views and experiences of decolonising the arts curriculum in higher education.

Hansika Jethnani (Arts SU Education Officer 2016-2018), Rahul Patel (Researcher, Curator and Lecturer) and I came together because of our shared determination for race equality and our understanding that decolonisation plays a critical role in this. We identified the need for a platform to discuss decolonisation specifically in relation to the arts curriculum. It was essential that such a platform would be supported by the institution and would allow for diverse perspectives, on this complex and contested topic, from both students and staff at UAL. The decision was made to co-produce a zine, as a way of breaking down some of the barriers to expression that traditional academic publishing can create.

A call for submissions was made in March, and a wealth of responses were received on the why, what and how of decolonisation in relation to arts education in general and specific creative practices.  All submissions have been included, and offer personal, professional, creative and critical insights through a range of literary and visual media.

The launch event was held at UAL Central Saint Martins with a display of some of the zine contents.  Hansika and I opened the event with some background to the zine’s production, and then Rahul invited contributors up to the stage to speak.

Image: Contributor Abbas Zahedi (and child) talking about the project behind his front cover image.

It was at this moment that we recognised what it was we have created, when hearing the contributors explain how important it has been for them to have space to share their experiences in relation to decolonisation, and inevitably colonisation. Contributors spoke of their own ethnic and national identities in relation to Britain’s colonial past and ‘multi-cultural’ present. They spoke of the current political situation affecting those of the Windrush generation, of islamophobia, and other forms of prejudice and discrimination based on race and nationality which affect both students and staff.

We hope that the zine will be supportive in this respect, whilst also contributing to wider discourses around decolonisation, and helping to inform developments in arts education, for the benefit of all of our community. And we hope for the discussion to continue through further events and the online platform, which has been set up for further perspectives to be shared.

The zine launch display at is open and accessible to the general public in the reception area at UAL Central Saint Martins (King’s Cross) until 9 July.

UAL staff can access the zine online here online here: 

If you are external to UAL the zine can also be accessed online here.

Image: Zine launch display at UAL Central Saint Martins reception, until 9 July


2018 call for nominations: Tell us about it Archive

Diverse Student Voices in Creative Learning in Practice

We are, once again, inviting Course Directors to nominate students for the University’s Tell us about it project. This project is funded by the Dean of Students and is one of the key interventions agreed to support staff across the University to develop inclusive practices in relation to UAL’s key strategic priorities, which include addressing the attainment gap for specific student groups. It focuses on students of colour who are completing their course and who have achieved to a high level.

Mentoring and £200 Student bursary available

We want students to record or present their experiences, in their chosen form, to add to our collection of case studies and or artefacts, which inform learning and teaching across UAL. We will provide students with mentoring to produce their story and a bursary of £200.

Nomination form and process

Course Directors can nominate one student per course.
Please complete the nomination form and return electronically to Terry Finnigan, Head of Student Attainment, London College of Fashion (
We are keen to have nominations from HE courses from across the University.

Closing date for nominations is 13 July 2018

Previous examples of work

If you would like to look at some of the artefacts that have already been created by earlier students they can be found on the Shades of Noir Digital Artefact webpage.


Assessment Criteria Task and Finish Group Update

Woman in lab testing cosmetics


The UAL assessment criteria working group is evaluating UAL’s current assessment matrices in order to develop new criteria that will be launched in Autumn 2019. This work is part of wider developments to enhance students’ experience of learning, assessment and feedback.

The assessment criteria that UAL launches in 2019 will meet the needs of the emergent classification approach that counts elements of credit at level 5 in degree classification calculations.

UAL will be introducing assessment matrices for each level of undergraduate study as well as one for postgraduate study. This will help us support students’ transition to HE and lead improvements in attainment by carefully differentiating expectations from level 4 to level 7.

Early consultation feedback suggests that some colleagues want unit learning outcomes to be recorded on OAT to support students’ understanding of the learning outcomes relationship to assessment criteria.  The group are currently scoping how we might do this.

The group is exploring the extent to which our assessment criteria can reflect the behaviours, values, knowledges and practices we seek to inculcate and as a consequence we will align the assessment criteria to our Creative Attributes Framework.

We are currently developing a prototype set of matrices to pilot in the autumn term so we can get feedback from staff and students.  If you would like to be part of this pilot then email me and I can send further information.

Susan Orr (
Chair of Assessment Matrix Task and Finish Group

What is talent? What is failure? Changing Mindsets at UAL

Camberwell Graduate Intern, Daisy Young, talks about her recent experience curating an exhibition with Year 1 BA Fine Art Students.  

Vikki Hill, Project Associate: Changing Mindsets and Associate Lecturer: Thinking Teaching, and Daisy Young, Graduate Intern, Fine Art Programme, Camberwell College of Arts

At the Wilson Road Gallery on the 27th February 2018, Year 1 BA Fine Art students from Camberwell College of Arts exhibited work they had produced in response to the Changing Mindsets workshop in November 2017.

Critiquing the problematic term ‘Talent’, and exploring the fine art practitioner’s approach to failure, ‘What is Talent, What is Failure?’ challenged fixed beliefs of intelligence and asked how we might embrace risk.

The exhibition was curated by Graduate Intern, Daisy Young, who has been involved in the development of the Changing Mindsets workshops for staff and students at Camberwell over the project’s pilot year.

Photo credit: Gareth Johnson

VH: Can you tell me a bit about your background and the role you have now at Camberwell?

DY: My role at Camberwell as the graduate intern came shortly after I graduated from my BA Fine Art degree at Chelsea College of Art. It was a role that was advertised for a recent graduate to be appointed to a department across CCW.

The aim of the placement is to get someone from a working-class family into art employment, the only requirement was that neither of your parents went to university. When applying for the role you had to outline what you would do once you were part of the department. For me this was focused towards student led projects.

This role has given me time and resources to get things off the ground that I never had time to infiltrate when studying, such as a cross college, cross course, cross year exhibition which is coming up in April.

I found my time at UAL really difficult as I felt as if I never really fitted in due to my background, not only my financial situation but my lack of engagement with culture. It felt as if some people were unaware of the struggles of growing up with very little money, studying with no financial help from home, or how little I knew about the art world and the literature that comes along with it.

I think the position I hold as Graduate Intern is helpful with this gap, as it allows me to have conversations with tutors that perhaps when studying I felt were impossible to engage with due to lack of time or confidence.

Photo credit: Gareth Johnson

VH: What was it that particularly interested you in the Changing Mindsets workshops, what was your motivation and how did you plan to engage students in an exhibition?

DY: They were of particular interest to me as a space for both students and tutors to discuss ways in which the current UK academic structures  represent some outdated curriculum or ideas.

It posed questions and started discussions around class, race and gender and the stereotypes that are generated when talking about this. I sat in on both staff and student workshops and was surprised by the different attitudes that were raised.  It was fascinating to hear how people from completely different generations engage with the stereotypes and whether they feel affected by them or not.

The notion of talent and what it means to be talented was raised in relation to fixed mindsets and grow mindsets. I thought this was particularly relevant within the art school context as you are required to have a certain level of ‘talent’ before you arrive, which is gauged through a portfolio interview.

It made me wonder how students gauge themselves against the word ‘talent’ and whether they believe natural ability is something that can be learned or if it’s something that you’re born with. I decided to put out an open call for an exhibition in relation to this. I called it ‘What is talent? What is failure?’ in the hope that it would get students thinking about how they judge their own work as successful or not.

Photo credit: Gareth Johnson


VH: From the variety of work that was submitted, tell me about one piece that particularly resonated with you in context of the project and why was this?

DY: The work submitted all responded to the theme in a very similar way, no one showed work that they didn’t believe was successful, and therefore responded to the talent aspect of the question. I very much expected this to happen, to show something you are proud of that you believe is successful is far easier than to show a failed piece of work.

Artwork by Nikos Christodoulou

For me talent and drive go hand in hand. Productivity allows for mistakes which allows you to learn, I believe this was most evident within the work of Nikos Christodoulou due to the speed that’s present with the marks he uses to make up his large ink drawings. The creases and marks all over the drawings give them charm as it shows his eagerness to make without fear of mistake.

I think the exhibition was a success as it gave a platform for students to display and talk about work in a stress-free environment with students from other courses that they wouldn’t have known before, opening up their immediate networks and hopefully allowing them to feel as if they have a place within this institution.

Photo credit: Gareth Johnson

Exhibiting students:

Isabella Sherwani-Keeling
Martin Del Busto
Christian Milborrow
Francesca McGowan
Nikos Christodoulou
Thomas Couzens
Iona K
Harriet Moore

If you would like more information on Changing Mindsets, contact
Or visit the Changing Mindsets blog


ERASMUS Report: Thinking Teaching visits Stuttgart State Academy of Art and Design

In March 2018 Vikki Hill, Changing Mindsets Project Associate and Associate Lecturer: Thinking Teaching visited Stuttgart State Academy of Art and Design under the EU Erasmus Staff Training Mobility programme.

All image credits: Vikki Hill unless otherwise stated. 

Image Courtesy of ABK Stuttgart

The three buildings that make up Stuttgart State Academy of Art and Design (also known as ABK Stuttgart) are situated in the leafy Killesburg Park area of Stuttgart and neighbor an impressive UNESCO World Heritage Site – The Weissenhof Estate, built as part of an ambitious 1927 Modernist Housing exhibition overseen by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe with contributions from Le Corbusier and Jeanneret, amongst others.


Against the backdrop of these Modernist structures, I began my 2-day Erasmus Staff Training Mobility in a university, city, state and country with a very strong cultural history, sense of identity and incredibly good traditional cuisine (Swabian). The state of Baden-Württemberg borders both France and Switzerland and is amongst one of the wealthiest regions in Europe. The demographic of the student population at the Academy (900 students) is very different to UAL’s and I was interested in learning about their approaches to art education and attainment.


My fantastic hosts, Rector Prof. Dr. Barbara Bader and Junior Professor Annette Hermann, spent time with me giving me an insight into the schooling and higher education systems in Germany as well as sharing their own research. Annette is the newly appointed professor for teaching and learning and is responsible for FLAG.


Image Courtesy of the Flag project, ABK Stuttgart

FLAG is an innovative learning and teaching laboratory for art education. It is situated at the intersection of the art teacher training program at the Academy of Fine Arts Stuttgart, and its associated partners in the educational domain. The aim of the project is to intensify the integration of academic and in-school training by way of research-oriented and research-based teaching and learning opportunities for students, teachers, and professors alike. By implication, this cross-institutional and intergenerational endeavour aspires to closely link (art) educational theory and practice. 

As part of her PhD, Annette has been developing an action research project with students and teachers to explore the role of an art teacher with a particular focus on motivation and interest. What was particularly interesting to me, in context of attainment, was our discussion about the many levels of inclusion and exclusion experienced by the student population that studies Fine Art Teacher Education. One of the most startling statistics is that 60% of fathers 40% of mothers of students studying to be fine art teachers have at least a Masters degree. This is well above the national average, statistically. Annette had also researched the inheritance rate – 22.2% of all students had a family member who was a teacher.


In my interview with Silke Heimlicher, Head of Academic Affairs, we discussed positive discrimination in context of gender and disability in the workplace and although changes have begun to take place, the gender pay gap still exists in Germany.

Although the work on sexual discrimination is landed, there is no data collection or analysis in context of race. Partly due to there being a very low number of students identifying as non-white German at ABK-Stuttgart, and also from a cultural perspective where ethnic monitoring is seen as highly problematic, there is currently no institutional lens to view the experiences of students from BME backgrounds.

Silke explained that although monetary obstacles in accessing higher education are reduced (there are no university fees in the current German system), the barriers to progression exist culturally.

Students from lower socio-economic backgrounds, and those whose parents did not attend university, are more likely to be expected to enter an apprenticeship. Mindset, rather than performance, is a deciding factor in parental support in continuing education.


Sonja Fendal, Head of International Student Experience and her colleague, Samantha Schramm, discussed the difficulties that some Erasmus exchange students from the UK face in terms of language acquisition. This was particularly interesting as, in context of my attainment work, I often hear staff refer to ‘international students’ as a homogenous group, and it was refreshing to consider that we are all ‘international’ and that language and cultural differences are an inherent part of our global experience.


My time in Stuttgart would not have been complete without a visit to the Staatsgalerie to see the permanent collection alongside the Master of Messkirch exhibition. This was an incredibly informative show that detailed the work of an artist from Swabia who adhered to Roman Catholic practices that countered the Reformation that encompassed the whole of Württemberg.

What I gained from the Erasmus Staff Mobility

The Erasmus Staff Mobility offered a much-needed period of reflection on my own work as Changing Mindsets Project Associate and the opportunity to share best practice and learn from the academics I met. The networking has encouraged a collaboration between myself and Annette Hermann to explore attainment, progression and intersectionality across our institutions. I also connected with teaching staff and was able to introduce them, by email, to academics at UAL to share their practice and approaches.

I was previously unaware of the cultural specifics around language and terminology such as the word ‘race’ that in Germany is only used for animals, not humans. This is influenced by Germany’s 20th Century history and it was important for me to consider the impact of this in how I design and plan my workshop presentation for the upcoming ELIA conference in Rotterdam. It was through my conversations and interviews at ABK-Stuttgart that I explored the impact of presenting work about race and attainment in a North-Western European context.

My understanding of the education system in Germany and the routes into university was a particular point of interest. Barbara Bader explained the progression to become an art teacher and the government accreditation that is received.

Finally, to be an outsider, to be reliant on others for translation, opens up a space to build empathy towards UAL staff and students whose first language is not English. I am happy to discuss the application process or anything further about the exchange. I would like to thank Prof. Susan Orr, Dean of Teaching and Learning and Bertha Archer, Erasmus Finance Administrator, for their support from UAL, and also to Rector Prof. Dr. Barbara Bader and Junior Professor Annette Hermann for their kind welcome and hospitality in Stuttgart.

Vikki Hill                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Project Associate: Changing Mindsets                                            Associate Lecturer Thinking Teaching

A new round of Erasmus+ Staff Mobility Applications for UAL staff (Technical, Administrative and Academic) have opened for travel between July 2018 and February 2019.

The deadline for applications is 1st May.  UAL staff can find more information on the Erasmus staff mobility page on Canvas and apply for the scheme by registering online.