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How Siobhan got a new "20-20" vision

10 Oct 2016

Colleagues tell their stories from our Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education

University of Manchester

Doing the University’s Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education gave Siobhan Cartwright a new “20-20” vision.

Siobhan, Manchester Medical School’s Teaching and Learning Manager and Social Responsibility lead, produced an assignment in ‘Pecha Kucha’ – the Japanese method of telling a story in 20 slides and 20 seconds.

“It was a new skill, and one of many great things I got from the course,” she recalls.

“Doing the course energised me, it was very stimulating. The team were really inspiring – they are so passionate about education. I was a mature student, having left school at 16, so I am passionate about Higher Education too.

“One of the most important things for me was that it was open to both PSS and academic colleagues. We were talking about key issues affecting all of us in HE, it was great to hear the academics’ perspective and I think this created a community feeling.”

The PGCert programme was launched in 2014 and is available to both academic and PSS staff. It aims to introduce staff to relevant literature and theory so that they can: think critically about their contribution to the University; develop a deeper understanding of the national and global Higher Education context; and progress in terms of their professional confidence, personal effectiveness and long-term career strategies.

Course leader Steve Jones, of CHERIL, says: “We will not tell you how to become better at your job; rather, we will challenge and develop the ways in which you think about Higher Education to ensure that you undertake your role efficiently and successfully.”

Siobhan used Pecha Kucha for her assignment reflecting on her own practice. She also produced more traditional essays, including one exploring the difference between ‘training and education’, a recurring theme at the Medical School, and another on the notion of ‘students as customers’.

She adds: “The course gave me time to think. You can think about what it is you do, why you do it, can you improve it, are you doing things you don’t need to do? You can also think about your motives for doing it and how you might react to things without realising it. I am passionate about the issues we covered and will try to continue to explore these in my own work.”

“And the friendships I found on the course were a lovely surprise – I met people I wouldn’t normally meet, who were passionate about education in the same way as I am. I would definitely recommend it!”

More information

For more information or to apply for the course, visit: