Queen Mary University of London has partnered with global leaders in online study success solutions Studiosity to help its students improve their written work by getting fast, detailed and personalised feedback on their drafts.
With a vision to “open the doors of opportunity”, Queen Mary’s diverse profile of domestic undergraduate students in London is distinctive for a Russell Group university and any research-leading university across the world: 92% of its home students are from state schools (and 26% have accessed free school meals); 75% are Black, Asian or Minority students; 49% are the first in their families to enter higher education; and 25% are from households where the annual taxable income is less than £10,000. Another 41% are from overseas.
Queen Mary has been recognised as the most inclusive Russell Group university in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021, and was ranked as the country’s top university for social mobility in a report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies in partnership with the Sutton Trust and Department for Education, also in 2021. Now, in a move to further strengthen its support for students who are typically under-represented in Russell Group universities, Queen Mary sought additional 24/7, 365 days-a-year, academic skills support for its 33,000-strong undergraduate and postgraduate community.
Through the three-year partnership, Queen Mary students can now access Writing Feedback, Studiosity’s formative English-writing feedback service on grammar, spelling, structure and readability (with comprehensive feedback provided, on average, within just five hours), and Connect Live which provides to-one personal academic support in real time. The service is proven to have a positive effect on student success, giving students the help they need, whenever they need it, and at a time to suit them. It sits within the University’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), and is presented as part of its in-house library services support.
Professor Stefan Krummaker, Deputy Vice-Principal (Education – Strategic Projects), said:
“Queen Mary University of London has a strong record in the Russell Group for recruiting students typically under-represented in universities like ours, and these students often lack confidence in their academic writing skills. Within our 2030 Strategy we commit to excellence in education, student engagement, student employability, and the learning environment. Studiosity is part of our learning environment and, thus, an enabler of our overall strategy.
“Our approach is to provide a 24/7 high-quality umbrella solution for our students complementing the excellent academic skills support provided locally at school and institute level. We firmly believe that Studiosity will help us to achieve our commitment to improve student experience as well as student outcomes. Having first encountered Studiosity five years ago, it is great to be working with them now.”
Studiosity is an important part of the University’s overall learning development and Learning Resources provision, bringing “flexible writing support which our students can access when they want”, explained Dr Alistair Morey, Head of Library Learning Support & Engagement.
“Through this service, we can offer all of our students 24/7 academic skills support,” Dr Morey said. “This is proving helpful not only for first-year domestic students, but international students who are in the UK for the first time and students who may not have written assignments in the UK education system before. Studiosity is complementary to, not a replacement for, the academic skills support that we provide across Queen Mary – and will help to enhance the independence of our students as their confidence grows.”
“In the short time we have been using Studiosity, we are seeing patterns of use at evenings and weekends. It is proving popular with commuter students, who work part-time and are time poor, so they have the opportunity to submit drafts in the evening and have feedback by the morning. ‘Instant’ responses help to maintain that momentum, and because it is a university-endorsed service all students know they are allowed to use it. Directing students to Studiosity means that we know they are getting advice that is in line with our academic integrity principles.”
Isabelle Bristow, Studiosity’s Managing Director for UK and Europe, said:
“We are delighted to be working with Queen Mary University of London as a brand new partner over the next three years initially, and we thank them for this solid and firm commitment to Studiosity.
“Our mission is to increase the life chances of every student in the world with personal, at-scale, ethical, formative feedback which complements and amplifies in-house university student support services. In the UK alone we now have 25 UK university and business school partners, representing a 20% market share.”