The First and Further Year Experience (FFYE) program represents a sustained institution-wide approach to building an engaged academic and professional community that works together to enhance the student experience. This practice builds on annual grants that provide resourcing for academics to try new learning and teaching activities, which they evaluate and embed to create sustainable practice change. Many grant holders present their evidence at the FFYE forums, inspiring others to make positive changes in their practice.  

Subject coordinators of core (non-elective) subjects are now invited to apply for 2024 FFYE grants. 

The focus of 2024 grant round is to implement an intentional curriculum design practice for a more inclusive learning environment that not only enhances student engagement in your subject/course, but also helps students achieve their academic and personal goals. 

We know the volatile context over the past five years has affected student engagement in ways we are still trying to understand and respond to – including those coming in from the many diverse pathways.

This includes how students are ‘showing up’ in their classes, their expectations of the higher education experience, how they are approaching their learning, and the forms of support they need. Understanding and finding ways to respond to the complexities of students’ lives and their preferences for engagement post-COVID is critical if we are to meet the demands of the Australian Universities Accord and the imperative for widening participation to more diverse groups of students. This requires us to take a reflexive approach and challenge our own assumptions about our students. It is also likely to involve changing our practices so we can find more flexible, accessible and supportive designs for learning to engage students into the future.  

We are inviting grants that seek to address observed changes in student engagement with their learning through an intentional curriculum design practice. Grant proposals needs to draw on at least one principle of Transition Pedagogy, with reference to inclusive practice underpinning Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and/or the UTS Student Experience Framework. 

Transition Pedagogy 

Grant proposals needs to draw on at least one principle of Sally Kift’s Transition Pedagogy, with reference to inclusive practice underpinning Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and/or the UTS Student Experience Framework.  

See the First-year transition: following the 6 first-year curriculum principles blog for examples of UTS practice of Transition Pedagogy. More UTS examples can be found in our series on the six first-year curriculum principles of Transition Pedagogy:

  1. Transition 
  2. Diversity 
  3. Design 
  4. Engagement 
  5. Assessment 
  6. Evaluation and monitoring

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) 

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is an approach to teaching and learning that aims to provide equal opportunities for all students, regardless of their abilities, backgrounds, or preferences. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for education and that different learners have different needs and strengths. UDL helps educators design flexible and accessible learning environments enabling more engaging and effective learning experiences for everyone.

The Student Experience Framework  

In 2024, the renewed model for the Student Experience Framework has placed Academic Engagement as directly supporting Student Success, sustained by the three foundational elements of Wellbeing, Belonging and Partnerships.   

This framework recognises that all aspects of the student journey matter, from critical first encounters to graduation and the transition to becoming UTS Alumni. It places student success at the centre, focusing on both academic and personal success, framed by four intersecting themes – Engagement, Belonging, Wellbeing and Partnerships/Relationships (particularly student partnerships). 

Other requirements 

In addition to the above requirements, projects will be also assessed on the following criteria: 

  • Reference to two relevant research or T&L articles to inform your design ideas (not those given in this blog).
  • Potential impact on student transition and the student experience for all students, particularly those from equity cohorts.
  • Demonstration of a programmatic approach (whole of course) to enhance students’ success.
  • Capacity for outcomes to become embedded and sustained without ongoing funding.

How to apply

Further information about the 2024 FFYE grants can be found on the SharePoint site.

  1. Download and complete a copy of the Application template.
  2. Ensure that the file has been signed.   
  3. Save your application using following naming convention: Surname of Project Lead_Faculty (eg Jones_DAB.docx; Smith_FASS.docx).
  4. Send your completed application to and cc in (FFYE Program Coordinator) by 20 June 2024


To get ideas from our past grant projects, take a look at our post introducing the FFYE grants for 2023.

We also recently ran an information session on applying for FFYE grants, which has been recorded and can be viewed in 6 videos:

  1. Introduction
  2. Case studies of previous grants: examples, motivation and outcomes
  3. Sharepoint site and key links
  4. How past grant holders applied Transition Pedagogy
  5. Analysis of the application template
  6. Q&A

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