From deficiency to development: the evolution of academic skills provision at one UK university

Patricia Hill, Amanda Tinker, Stephen Catterall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article discusses the context in which 'study support' has emerged in higher education in the UK. Within this context the article documents the establishment of a 'devolved model' of academic skills at the University of Huddersfield. Whilst acknowledging that this model is not unique, its formation allows for the exploration of pedagogical and practical issues. It highlights the complexity of providing support which is effective and viable, recognising that the increasing diversity of the student body calls for multiple strategies. An examination of the evolution of the provision at Huddersfield illustrates the journey from a focus on student deficit and retention towards one clearly associated with learning development. This model assumes an integrated, flexible and student centred approach within the subject discipline, rather than one which is extra-curricular and may be perceived as 'remedial'. Originally predicated on the individual student tutorial and standalone workshop, the provision is now focusing on working within the disciplines to embed academic development within the curriculum.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Learning Development in Higher Education
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2010


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