Your institution will have relationships with partners, students, alumni, businesses and local authorities.
Managing these relationships properly will ensure that the services and activities you offer are appropriate, legal and responsive to both expressed and anticipated demand.
It can help your institution earn revenue, enhance your reputation and gain the benefit of additional experience and knowledge. Online learning offers new opportunities to engage and include external partners.
- Our relationship management guide explores the challenges faced by further and higher education in improving and maintaining relationships with stakeholders.
- Embedding business and community engagement (BCE) focuses on working with local partners.
- Employee access to higher education considers how educational institutions can deliver relevant courses that meet the needs of industry, are useful and have flexibility that enables employees to take up the learning opportunities.
Online learning is one way to expand the kinds of courses offered by an institution in response to such needs and are particularly useful for part-time students.
Partnerships and engagement
Online learning may involve developing new partnerships and engaging different kinds of students. Your institution will need to consider how far these will affect current provision and services, and how much they will need adapting.
These partnerships may also benefit campus-based courses.
This is a critical factor in internal relationship management for educational institutions. Staff need to know that they'll have appropriate support when implementing new ways of teaching.
Students need to feel they are receiving an equitable experience with on-campus students. When trying out new teaching and learning approaches, getting students to trust that this will not adversely affect their education may be difficult.
Some online activities, such as collaborative exercises or peer assessment, may need additional reassurance to get students engaged.
Your institution must be fully aware of the benefits of new approaches and be able to articulate these to students to generate trust.
|Barriers||What you can do|
|Students are unsure of the benefits of different approaches to learning||Provide clear information about the teaching approaches being adopted|
|Highlight the benefits of the teaching approaches|
|Engage students in identifying new approaches to teaching|
|Competitive environment doesn’t encourage trust between staff||Reward collaborative and co-operative approaches in staff appraisal mechanisms|
|Provide staff engagement activities, training and support to encourage collaborative working|
|Lack of trust between different departments||Create institution-wide forums for discussion and sharing|
|Establish collaborative approaches across faculties and departments|
|Facilitate cross-faculty staff engagement activities|