Head of Learning Enhancement (Student Success) - Library Services

University of Birmingham
United Kingdom
£42,149 to £50,296
Closing date
Jul 2, 2022

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Position Details

Academic Services

Location: University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham UK

Full time starting salary is normally in the range £42,149 to £50,296, with potential progression once in post to £56,587.

Grade 8

Full Time, Permanent

Closing date: 17th July 2022

Our offer to you

People are at the heart of what we are and do.

The University of Birmingham is proud to have been a part of the City of Birmingham and the wider region for over 100 years, and we are equally proud to be recognised as a leading global university.  We want to attract talented people from across the city and beyond, support them to succeed, and celebrate their success.

We are committed to helping the people who work here to develop through our sector-leading Birmingham Professional programme which provides all professional services staff with development opportunities and the encouragement to reach their full potential.  With almost 5,000 professional services jobs in a wide-range of functions in Edgbaston and in our campus in Dubai, there are plenty of opportunities for you to be able to develop your career at the University.

We believe there is no such thing as a typical member of staff and that diversity is a source of strength that underpins the exchange of ideas, innovation, and debate.  We warmly welcome people from all backgrounds and are committed to fostering an inclusive environment where diversity is at the heart of who and what we are, and how we work.

Supporting our people to achieve a healthy work/life balance is important both to our employees and to the success of the University and, depending on the role, we offer a variety of flexible working arrangements. We therefore welcome discussions on all forms of flexible working.  In addition, you will receive a generous package of benefits including 40 days paid holiday a year, one paid day a year for volunteering, occupational sick pay, and a pension scheme. We also have three high quality subsidised day nurseries.

The University is situated in leafy Edgbaston and there are excellent transport links to our beautiful campus, including main bus routes and a train station on site.  On campus we have a state-of-the-art sports centre with pool, shops, places to eat and drink, our own art gallery, museum and botanical gardens.

Role Summary

The Head of Learning Enhancement (Student Success) will actively develop the vision, values and strategic objectives of Library Services through the management of the Learning Enhancement Team, and in close collaboration with the Head of Learning Enhancement (Academic Skills) and the Assistant Director (Academic and Digital Skills Centre).

The postholder will directly contribute to the University's Education Strategy by providing support for student academic attainment, improving the experience and outcomes of our diverse student community, enhancing the quality and attractiveness of our education, and fostering the development of key transferable skills for employment.

The postholder with work with the Head of Learning Enhancement (Academic Skills) to oversee the work of the Learning Enhancement Team in developing, delivering, and evaluating a central offer of academic and digital skills, and learner support projects, from pre-sessional through to undergraduate and taught postgraduate levels.

A particular focus for this post is to oversee the development, innovation and implementation of new learning enhancement activities for taught students, with particular importance placed on initiatives for student groups identified in the University's Access and Participation Plan (i.e. the Birmingham Scholars). These initiatives may relate to helping students transition to university, stay at university, gain the full benefit of university life, their academic development, their attainment and/or their future success. The postholder will seek opportunities to work in partnership with students, Academic and/or Professional services colleagues as appropriate.

The postholder will also be expected to maintain an awareness of national and other external initiatives, developments, and consultations in relation to EDI and Widening Participation and, where appropriate, contribute to the University's internal and external responses to such initiatives. The role will require a capacity to engage in research and academic debate concerning pedagogic approaches and educational adjustments that respond to different needs.

The Learning Enhancement Team will support the objectives of all divisions within Library Services: Academic and Digital Skills Centre; Collection Management & Development; Library Customer Support; and Special Collections. Collaborative working across teams is expected. The postholder will also be expected to collaborate closely with stakeholders across Professional Services, including Student Services, the Higher Education Futures institute (HEFi), the Birmingham International Academy (BIA), Outreach and the Careers Network, as well as engage with key College stakeholders including College Access and Participation Leads, School Heads of Education and Senior Tutors.

The Head of Learning Enhancement (Student Success) is required to show strong capabilities in the areas of leading people, organisational understanding, communication, relationship building, and leading change.

Main Duties

Strategic development of Library Academic Skills Services through, for example:

Developing knowledge and understanding of the University's strategies and corporate plans, including those relating to Education, and considering their impact on the needs of students and staff.
  • Supporting the Assistant Director: to ensure the Learning Enhancement Team's activities effectively align with broader strategic priorities.
  • Monitoring service demand and quality, and planning for sustainable service development accordingly.
  • Maintaining a good knowledge of curricula, and broader education developments within the University, and how they impact on the needs of students.
    Managing and implementing approved projects, to time and within budget.

    Maintaining knowledge and understanding of good practice and service developments nationally in Library services, through membership of appropriate professional bodies and networks, and contributing this awareness to strategic planning within the University of Birmingham's Library Services.

    Building credible, successful and productive relationships, alliances and partnerships within Library Services, across the University and with external bodies, suppliers and the wider community.

    To lead the Library Service's provision of expert advice, support and training through a range of learner support projects and academic and digital skills services. This will done by, for example:

    Having a strategic role supporting the Assistant Director with devising and implementing Library Services policy frameworks and service levels relating to academic and digital skills delivery.

    Ensuring that all centrally delivered and embedded training sessions, guides and learning materials provided by the Learning Enhancement Team are based on current and appropriate pedagogic principles.

    Ensuring that learner support provision is inclusive of the needs of all students. This includes ensuring the requirements of under-represented groups, widening participation students, and those with specific learning needs are met.

    Leading the development of Library Services skills mapping and skills curriculum design and review activities relating to taught students.

    Overseeing the centrally co-ordinated design and delivery of learner support projects and academic and digital skills services

    Overseeing the design and maintenance of online learner support content to taught students.

    Ensuring the re-use, adaptation, sharing and repurposing of materials to ensure effective use of resources.

    Ensuring the evaluation and monitoring of programmes and online and printed resources.

    Ensuring appropriate recruitment, training and development of any PGTAs and paid / volunteer students as appropriate.

    Working collaboratively across teams and divisions, devising strategies to promote the training sessions and materials available to support the educational requirements of Schools. This will include overseeing the development of printed and online marketing required by the Learning Enhancement Team in line with Library Services processes and guidelines.

    To lead and manage the Learning Enhancement Team effectively, taking responsibility for all staffing issues within the team by:

    Devising strategies and plans to develop, deliver and evaluate bespoke skills workshops within the policy framework set out by Library Services.

    Devising strategies and plans in collaboration with the Heads of Service Development and Service Delivery to promote relevant guides and online skills training through the Library Services web site.

    Devising strategies and plans to embed or signpost relevant guides and online skills training within School/Department iVLE courses and web sites.

    Ensuring that all members of the team operate within a productive environment, which is conducive to both the continuous improvement of individuals and the performance of the service area.

    Conducting skills audits and skills gap analyses; and developing Team training plans.

    Being responsible for assigned Performance Development Reviews of Team members, and ensuring their continuing professional development in ways which are relevant and do not compromise the effectiveness of the service.

    Ensuring the effective use of limited staff training resources, especially by facilitating the sharing of best practice.

    Empowering members of the Learning Enhancement Team to make decisions at an appropriate level and contribute to Library strategy.

    Overseeing personnel matters within the team, including recruitment and performance management.

    Setting objectives, work priorities and assigning tasks at both Team and individual level.

    Monitoring Team performance against declared objectives.

    Other Duties

    To deputise for the Assistant Director (Academic and Digital Skills Centre) as required

    To represent Library Services both inside and outside the University as required, including occasional participation in University Open Days

    To undertake other such duties as may be required from time to time in furtherance of the work of Library Services.

    Person Specification

    Formal education to degree level or equivalent

    Relevant and substantial experience in HE libraries

    Experienced gained in a skills development role, with a demonstrable ability to plan and develop learning activities, adapting to suit different discipline requirements, student levels and learning requirements, evaluating activity and responding to feedback.

    Experience of service development

    A proven track record in the provision of quality services to a diverse range of end within a framework of accountability

    Customer-oriented approach to design and delivery of services

    Good information technology skills, including the MS Office suite

    An awareness of and skill in applying appropriate technology to service delivery

    Good interpersonal and leadership skills

    Ability to motivate and generate enthusiasm in others

    Excellent oral and written communication skills, preferably with experience of communicating with a wide range of internal and external stakeholders with diverse professional and academic backgrounds

    An ability to prioritise and to schedule workloads in the face of conflicting demands

    A clear understanding of scholarly communications

    Ability to translate University-level Learning and Teaching Strategies into operational plans

    An awareness of wider developments in library and information services which might enhance services at the University of Birmingham

    Evidence of familiarity of the changing culture of Higher Education, including the importance of the learning and research quality agendas

    An understanding of pedagogic issues as applied to Higher Education


    A teaching qualification, eg full or Associate membership of the Higher Education Academy, or another relevant professional body.

    Experience of team management would be a distinct advantage

    Experience of performance management would be an advantage

    Experience of project management would be an advantage

    Experience in the design and creation of learning materials would be an advantage.

    An understanding of how Virtual Learning Environments, Managed Learning Environments and institutional portals can be used to support teaching and learning would be an advantage.

    Informal enquires to Michael Stanford, email: m.j.stanford@bham.ac.uk

    Valuing excellence, sustaining investment

    We value diversity and inclusion at the University of Birmingham and welcome applications from all sections of the community and are open to discussions around all forms of flexible working.

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