The Year Abroad: Maximising and promoting its real value

Date: 23 May, 2012
Location: University of Strathclyde - John Anderson Campus (City Centre) - Graham Hills Building - rooms 513/514/515
Event type: workshop

Location map | Programme

This event is being supported by the Higher Education Academy.

Residence Abroad as part of a Modern Languages degree is a key issue for colleagues in the current climate.  The latest application figures published by UCAS show a decline in applications to modern languages degrees for 2012.  The financial burden of the additional year is often quoted as a possible cause of disappointing application rates.  Yet the personal and career benefits to the student of the period of residence abroad have been documented and promoted widely. 

This LLAS event, organised in partnership with colleagues in Scottish HEIs and supported by the Higher Education Academy, will examine the costs and benefits of the year abroad in the current HE climate and provide an opportunity to share practice on how the year abroad can enhance the student learning experience and be promoted to students and key decision makers. There will be a mixture of presentations and group discussion during the day.

Keynote speakers
Professor Jim Coleman, Open University and Chair of UCML
Dr Robert Blackwood, University of Liverpool and National Teaching Fellow


  • There is a registration fee of £25 to attend this event.
  • Please note that we reserve the right to retain the fee of £25 if you do not notify us by 14 May 2012 that you are unable to attend.
  • Full details of our charging policy are available.
  • Lunch will be provided.
Remember that you can apply for the HEA UK travel fund to cover travel, subsistence or conference fees for this event. To find out more, visit the HEA website or download the application form here


Provisional programme for 23 May 2012
Time Session
10.00 - 10.30 Arrival, coffee and registration
10.30 - 11.30

The Real Value of the Year Abroad
Professor Jim Coleman, Chair UCML
Slides available here

11.30 - 12.15

Enhancing the student learning experience during the Year Abroad
Dr Robert Blackwood, University of Liverpool and National Teaching Fellow
Slides available here

12.15 - 13.00

Group discussions looking at the following

  • How can we promote the year abroad to students, parents and university managers?
  • How can we support students during the year abroad to ensure that the experience is positive and seen as excellent value for money?
  • How can we involve employers more effectively in promoting the year abroad?
13.00 - 13.45 Lunch
13.45 - 15.15

Case studies

Presentations on aspects of the year abroad including

The Year Abroad:  an Institutional View
Dr Shona Potts, University of Aberdeen

Study abroad at the University of Edinburgh
Sandra Morris, University of Edinburgh
Slides available here 
International Office

The Realie Project: Residence and Employment Abroad Leading to International Employability
Alison Dickens, LLAS Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies

15.15 - 15.45 Closing remarks