CEBE app is roaring success


Project TIGERS received a Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence from Advance HE on Monday. Advance HE supports UK universities in putting institutional strategy into practice for the benefit for students, staff and wider society.

Project TIGERS is based in the Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment (CEBE) in collaboration with an external partner Tandem Labs. The digital project scooped the national award for its innovative approach to maximising student engagement and delivering targeted and accessible student support within CEBE through the University Assistant app.

The app is built around video-led, mobile-first resources, tailored content and an instant chat facility managed by the faculty’s Student Success Advisors. It has achieved 97% uptake among the incoming CEBE student population, providing a rapid response to more than 800 queries, and for many students has become the ‘go-to’ means of reaching out for support.

The awards have been described in the press as ‘the pinnacle of reward and recognition in teaching and learning’. They showcase the ‘outstanding impact of teams who teach or support learning in higher education, recognising their success and providing a platform to share the learning from their practice’.

The University received the accolade alongside other HE institutions such as Brunel University, London, and Bristol University for their projects, which will also be shared as best practice across the wider sector to benefit students and staff.

University Assistant was in development for two years. The BCU team is Associate Dean Professor Nick Morton, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean Professor Hanifa Shah, Student Success Advisors Amar Masonde, Stepfanie-Nicole Szabo, Cameron McCulloch-Keeble, Nathan Dewell, and Sunnah Yaqoob, placement student Rosemary Ambrose-Odulaja, and Assistant Lecturers Liam Matthews-Dibbins and Wil Vincent. The collaborative partners from Tandem Labs are BCU Visiting Professor Rob Pritchard and Tom Pritchard.

Student Success Advisor Project Manager Amar Masonde said: “We are proud to be receiving this award. The team has worked extremely hard over the year to make sure that University Assistant is effective and gives our students an avenue to find help when they need it.

“Due to the fantastic response we’ve had from students and staff, we now have plans to roll the app out University wide, starting with BLSS this coming September. This is just the beginning of the journey too; with more students being able to use University Assistant, the type of content we create and service we provide to students will only get better.”

Project TIGERS will receive the award at a special ceremony on 16 October in Manchester.

Pictured: (left to right) Associate Dean Professor Nick Morton and Student Success Advisor Project Manager Amar Masonde

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