28th July 2003




School may be out for the summer but 12 teachers from the Boston area have gone back to the classroom to study an innovative university course.


The teachers from Giles Secondary School in Old Leake and St Bede’s Roman Catholic Secondary School in Boston have all signed up to study for a masters degree in Education Learning and Development with the University of Lincoln.


But the unusual thing about this course is that the teachers can study without ever visiting the university. The Giles School is hosting the course, which is being delivered online via the university’s Virtual Campus.


“Normally you would do a masters by travelling to your nearest university, but we are in the middle of nowhere,” said Chris Walls, head of Giles Secondary School.


“If you live in a rural area as we do, and the nearest place to study is 45 miles away, it is very difficult for a busy teacher.”


The university’s International Institute for Education Leadership responded to the problem by designing an MSc by distance learning for Giles School and other educational organisations interested in improving their own learning and that of others.


The 12 students – ten from Giles and two from St Bede’s – are all middle managers and their studies are being funded by a £12,000 government leadership incentive grant.


Their tutor is Texan Marianne Hvizdak, a senior lecturer in the IIEL and director of the institute’s MSc programme.


“This is an innovative course because we’re delivering it on the teachers’ doorstep,” she said. “It’s also being delivered completely online via our Virtual Campus, but students still get all the benefits of studying together as one cohort in one place.


“The University of Lincoln serves a large rural region with poor road links and it’s important that we reach out to our students instead of sitting back and waiting for them to come to us.”


For more information contact: Jez Ashberry, Press and Media Relations Manager

University of Lincoln (tel: 01522 886042)                       email: jashberry@lincoln.ac.uk

Check for the latest university news at www.lincoln.ac.uk/news