Study Group innovations in teaching and student support awarded by Independent Higher Education

Dr Aluko-Daniels

Rising Star Dr Aluko-Daniels is a thought leader who seeks solutions for some of the most significant challenges facing higher education today.

Outstanding contributions to the independent higher education sector were celebrated last night at the inaugural IHE Awards. Study Group’s Dr Olufunke Aluko-Daniels took home the Rising Star Award, with further commendation for Study Group received in the Excellence in Supporting Student Success category.

Rising Star

Our warmest congratulations are extended to Study Group Centre Director Dr Olufunke Aluko-Daniels, who scooped the prestigious Rising Star award for her work to pioneer an agile curriculum.

The award celebrates emerging talent in independent higher education providers – recognising and identifying future leaders within independent providers. It’s awarded to individuals who show commitment and passion in their area of work and are making contributions to the higher education community by sharing their knowledge, experience and ideas with others.

Motivated to tackle long-term structural issues identified during the pandemic, Dr Aluko-Daniels seeks to create programmes that are truly-student centric, by efficiently accommodating sudden changes without compromising academic standards for student cohorts with varying English language abilities and different cultural backgrounds.

In addition to her unfailing support to colleagues in the provision of academic guidance and strategic direction, Dr Aluko-Daniels is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Assessment, Learning and Teaching in International Education (JALTIE). This peer-reviewed journal published by Study Group explores the teaching and learning experience with a particular emphasis on supporting international students preparing for, and engaging in, university study at all levels.

Excellence in Supporting Student Success

As the impact of COVID-19 took effect, international students planning to live and study for a higher education in the UK and Europe faced a growing set of challenges.

We responded with Prepare for Success, a free online course to address evolving international student wellbeing needs in areas such as isolation, loss of confidence, digital literacy for online study and mental health challenges.

While the course is developed in collaboration with tutors, subject matter experts, learning technologists and student experience staff, we then work with students to evaluate and evolve its content. Our extensive network enables us to draw on an increasingly wide range of perspectives, to create and deliver practical and relevant student support and learning experiences that are informed by different cultures, abilities and outlooks. 

We are delighted that Prepare for Success was highly commended in the Excellence in Supporting Student Success category, which recognises successful, strategic approaches to supporting good student mental health and wellbeing.

Dr Olufunke Aluko-Daniels, Caroline Drummond and David Graham

From left to right: Study Group’s Dr Olufunke Aluko-Daniels, winner of the Rising Star Award; with Caroline Drummond and David Graham who worked on the highly commended Prepare for Success programme.

Dr Mark Cunnington, Chief Learning Experience Officer, comments:

“The Independent Higher Education Awards showcase excellence and outstanding contributions to independent higher education provision in the UK. It’s wonderful to see teaching, academic programmes and student experience at the heart of so many innovations in the sector. Congratulations to all award recipients and those shortlisted.

“Dr Aluko-Daniels is a thought leader who seeks solutions for some of the most significant challenges facing higher education today – and then, critically, shares her findings openhandedly with colleagues across the community. I am delighted to see Olufunke and Study Group’s work recognised with these two prestigious awards from Independent Higher Education.”