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1. Upcoming Deadlines and Key Dates
2nd October – Registrations close for TEI Forum
2nd October - Deadline: TEIs to submit New Student Programme Registration data
9th October - TEI Forum Meeting
16th October (approx) - TEIs to receive Banner IDs of new students
24th October Common Awards Management Board
27th October - Deadline: TEIs to submit Board of Examiners Membership Lists
27th October - Deadline: TEIs to submit Module Registration Data for quality assurance checks
27th October - Deadline: TEIs to submit APL Credits and supporting documentation
Late October - TEIs asked to circulate invitation letters to students eligible to attend the Durham University Congregation ceremony in January 2024
If any TEI staff members would appreciate further information on preparing for these processes, please contact the Common Awards Team.
2. New Student Programme Registration including Study Path update
TEIs are asked to submit New Student Programme Registration data by the 2nd October 2023.
Detailed guidance on this process is available on the Common Awards website here.
Those members of staff who attended the Moodle Update sessions earlier in the summer will be aware that the University is making some changes in its student records system, Banner, in response to HESA reporting requirements. From 2023/24 onwards, students will receive one Banner ID and use that same Banner ID for every Common Awards programme from now on. Students will instead be issued a different ‘Study Path number’ for each different Common Awards programme they register on. The programme groupings for when a ‘Study Path number’ may change remains the same as those for when a Banner ID was required. In essence, from 2023/24 onwards, the Study Path number will operate in the same way as the Banner ID previously did.
Study Path Example
Currently, when a student registers with your TEI, you will go through the registration process in Moodle, send the data to the University at the relevant registration point in the year, and a Banner ID will be generated for the student.
In the case of a student registered on the BA programme, they will receive a Banner ID for the duration of their programme; however, if the student completes the BA and subsequently registers on the MA, then they would receive a new Banner ID for their postgraduate programme.
Going forward, the student would receive a Banner ID when they register on the BA, along with a Study Path number, which if this is their first registration with the University the Study Path number will be 1. When they complete studies, and register on the MA, they will keep the same Banner ID but a new Study Path 2 will be generated.
If there is an instance where you have a student registered on the undergraduate Diploma, completes their studies but then returns within 5 years to top up the award to the BA, their original study path (that was generated when the student registered on the Diploma) will be re-opened, as the credit gained towards the Diploma will count towards the BA.
The University will be going through a process of merging 2023/24 records onwards across Banner in December 2023.
We understand that Common Awards records will be merged onto existing Common Awards records, with the exception of Cranmer Hall records. Common Awards records will not be merged with standard Durham University student records where students have studied with the University previously.
Ken Farrimond in the Ministry Development Team has been working on some amendments to Moodle and the available reports to help facilitate this change in Banner, which was covered in the Moodle Update sessions. Please contact the Moodle Helpdesk if you have any questions.
More information is also available on our website.
3. Common Awards Student Guide 2023/24 [New]
The Common Awards Team has created a new ‘Welcome to Durham University’ Student Guide for 2023/24, which is attached to the email sent introducing this September Bulletin./
This guide has been created in response to the Common Awards Student Survey feedback, to help improve students’ understanding of the Common Awards partnership, the relationship between their TEI and the University, the role of the University in their time as a Common Awards student, and any key information they may find useful. The guide is intended to complement induction information already shared by TEIs.
We would be grateful if you could make the Guide available to your students. Whilst it has been written as an introduction to Common Awards, it may still be useful for your continuing students as well as 2023/24 new starters.
4. Common Awards Annual Summary 2023/24 [New]
The Common Awards Team will be shortly circulating a new ‘Annual Summary’ document, which draws TEIs attention to our key focuses for the year and any projects or extraordinary processes we will be undertaking in the upcoming academic year (in addition to our usual quality assurance and student records processes). We hope that by sharing this type of circular, TEIs will be provided with advance notice of upcoming Common Awards activity. It also includes sector updates which may be relevant to TEIs, and important reminders of key processes or regulations.
The document will also provide a review of Common Awards activity over the previous academic year, summarising any key developments or changes to regulation, processes and policies which may require action by TEIs. This information should be familiar to TEIs as we will have shared such essential information in emails, previous Bulletins and training sessions; however, we hope that this new introduction will provide an easy and accessible annual summary ahead of the commencement of the next academic year.
We would really welcome any feedback on the ‘Annual Summary’ when you receive it.
5. Campus Cards
Members of the Common Awards Team have been working with the University Computing and Information Services (CIS) Team to ensure that the production of Campus Cards for Common Awards students can run smoothly for the 2023/24 academic year.
CIS faced a significant number of obstacles last year which they have worked hard to overcome, and we now have confidence that Campus Cards can be produced for Common Awards students as normal this year. We’d like to thank TEIs and students for their patience and understanding of the delays faced last academic year.
The deadline for submitting photographs and supplementary student list is 3rd November 2023. In order to ensure this process is as smooth as possible, we have produced a process guide for TEIs to follow, which is attached to the email sent introducing this September Bulletin.
6. TEI Forum
The next TEI Forum meeting is scheduled for October 9th from 12pm-4pm and will be held in-person at Durham. Please contact Lucy Dallas (Chair) directly with any agenda items.
Forum members can register here.
Each TEI Principal (or equivalent) is permitted to nominate up to four members of core staff to serve as members of the TEI Forum. Please contact us if you would like to update the members or staff who are currently serving on the TEI Forum. For more information, please see our website.
7. Staff Development: Core Skills
This programme provides participants with the opportunity to work through interactive online content in their own time, to discuss their learning with colleagues across the UK and with facilitators from Durham University’s Centre for Academic Development.
Successful completion of the Account of Professional Practice confers Associate Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (now known as AdvanceHE) and the post-nominal letters AFHEA.
More information about the programme is available on our website.
Registration for the programme is now open.
Registration to attend the introductory session on 5th December closes on Wednesday 22nd November at 12 noon. Final registration for the programme closes on 12th January 2024.
8. Winter Congregation 2024
Students eligible for graduation (those who have successfully completed the BA, MA, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate) will be invited to attend the graduation ceremony at 10am on 4th January 2024, at Durham Cathedral. We will shortly be sending student invitation letters to TEIs, and registration will be open between October and December 2023 (exact dates to be confirmed).
We will also be hosting a post-ceremony celebration event in Durham for those attending graduation; further information will follow shortly.
Members of staff in TEIs are also welcome to attend the Common Awards graduation ceremonies; the staff attendance registration form will be sent to TEIs in October.
Members of staff in TEIs who hold an undergraduate degree are eligible to participate in the academic procession for the Common Awards students. If you are interested in this, please indicate on the staff attendance registration form in October.
9. Board of Examiners
The first Overarching Board of Examiners meeting for 2022/23 took place on 4th September 2023, where around 350 students were considered for an award. Pass lists have now been sent to TEIs to confirm the outcomes; TEIs are reminded to not share the passlists directly with students. Parchments and transcripts for students not eligible for Congregation (Graduation) will be produced within ~8 weeks. Those eligible for Congregation (Graduation) will receive their award documentation ~8 weeks after the ceremony.
The Winter Overarching Board of Examiners is due to be held on 1st December 2023.
TEIs are reminded that Boards of Examiners must ensure that the following is submitted to Durham in line with the deadlines in published guidance and the Common Awards Calendar:
Further information on the documents TEIs must submit following Board of Examiners meetings is available here.
10. TEI Attendance – Durham Board of Examiners
TEIs are reminded that they are very welcome to send a representative from their TEI Board of Examiners (normally the Chair) to observe the meetings of the overarching Board. Up to three TEI BoE representatives may attend each board. This can be a good way for TEIs to discover more about how the overarching Board works, and to see how we handle decisions about their students.
The next meeting of the Board is due to be held online on 1st December from 9:30am – 12:30pm. Please contact the team if a representative from your TEI Board of Examiners wishes to attend this meeting.
11. Student Records reminder
TEIs are asked to ensure that students’ Moodle records are accurate and up to date following a decision to withdraw from study, and that all modules and marks (including failed modules) are fully recorded. Please also ensure that the final record is shared with the Common Awards Team when submitting the Change of Registration Form, in order to ensure the Banner record is accurate should the student wish to return to study in the future.
12. Conversion of Marks
We would like to remind TEIs of the principles surrounding the conversion of marks.
Some assignments, like language tests, might produce quantitative scores. Those scores are not the marks for that assignment. In principle, they will always need to go through some process of conversion – where conversion involves making qualitative judgments about what is meant by different levels of achievement in a quantitatively scored test, and then translating those qualitative judgments into numerical marks in the normal way.
Further information on Converting Test Scores into Marks is available on our website.
13. Staffing Update
We’re delighted to welcome Dr Emily Kempson, Dr Nina Kulburg and Miss Olabisi Obamakin to the Common Awards Team.
Emily joins the Common Awards Team as our Lecturer in Theology and Ministry and will be undertaking her role as University Liaison Officer from September.
Bisi and Nina join the Common Awards Team as our Postdoctoral Research Associates in Theological Education working on the Diversifying the Common Awards Curriculum project.
Contact details can be found on our website - Contact Us - Durham University. Please join us in welcoming Emily, Nina and Bisi to Durham and the Common Awards Team.
14. Further Information
The full 2023/24 calendar is available here.
With very best wishes for the start of the academic year,
The Common Awards Team