A leading North West teaching and learning specialist has returned from the University of Johannesburg where he advised on the design of university programmes to adhere to new South African education reforms.

Mark Schofield, Edge Hill University’s head of teaching and learning development was approached by the new University of Johannesburg ? which has been formed through the merger of three South African Universities ? to provide consultation services based on his work on curriculum development in the UK.

Since the end of apartheid many reforms have taken place in South Africa to ensure more equality within the education system and parity between universities. Mr Schofield?s work is helping to ensure that high standards are met across all curriculum areas.

“The University of Johannesburg is a large institution with around 47,000 students,” said Mr Schofield. “Universities in South Africa are making huge advances in aligning their practices to fit with the global model of higher education. They are achieving their aims by ensuring that university programmes are standards and outcomes related, which is raising the quality of courses and making sure that provision adheres to national guidelines for all.”

Much of the visit was spent assisting teams of subject specialists in designing a curriculum against new qualifications framework.

“The University has a very broad range of subjects on offer ranging from anatomy and physiology to fashion, food technology and engineering. There?s a real mix of vocational qualifications and traditional areas of study similar to those at Edge Hill, providing much common ground on which to base innovation and curriculum development.”