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Becka Colley (was Currant), Dean of Students

  • BA (Hons), PGDip PCET; PGDip CEIG; PGCert Training and Development; CIPD Certificate in Training Practice; FHEA.
  • Dean of Students.
  • National Teaching Fellow, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
  • Tel: +44 (0) 1274 236821
  • Email:
  • Twitter: @beckacolley


  • Working closely with key senior roles to implement an excellent student experience.
  • Institutional liaison with Student Union, ensuring student views are heard effectively.
  • Key role as an internal change agent communicating with colleagues across the University to make recommendations, implement and progress identified actions. Significant internal and external liaison to drive pedagogic change and implement new policies and procedures.
  • Managing and leading the Academic Skills Advice Team.
  • Supporting staff to develop their skills and the skills of their students.
  • Co-ordination of student Induction activities.
  • Co-ordination of student surveys including the National Student Survey and research into the Student Experience.
  • Working closely with colleagues in the Academic Development Unit to support pedagogic developments and innovation.

Summary Bibliography

Becka Becka joined the University of Bradford in 1998. Prior to working at Bradford she was a sabbatical officer in the Union of UEA Students, Norwich, where her portfolio covered academic issues.

Appointed as the Student Development Coordinator in 1998, Becka contributed to the work of a DfEE funded key skills project along with leading on providing extra-curricular training activities for students on campus. These activities included training for course representatives, Student Union sabbatical officers and the Student Union Forum representatives. She was a key contributor to the University's Excellence Plus skills initiative and developed an accredited extra curricular skills programme called ESP.

In 2001 Becka became a Career Development Adviser, supporting students in making career choices and teaching on career skills modules. In 2005 she became the Professional Skills Development Co-ordinator supporting staff in developing blended and distance learning materials for work based learners. During this period she was seconded to establish a business case for a new University wide skills support unit. This was approved in 2006 and Becka was appointed to lead and manage this new initiative. The Learner Development Unit has gone from strength to strength during its launch in October 2006 and now consists of eleven core staff along with a Royal Literary Fund Fellow to support students in their Academic Writing skills. In September 2009 Becka was appointed Dean of Students, a senior level role which has overall responsibility for the student experience and supporting student success at Bradford.

Becka has created an innovative approach to supporting skills development at Bradford which includes the development of the SaPRA (Skills and Personal Reflective Activity) tool and the Develop Me! approach to skills activities. She has a keen interest in student engagement and is active in researching the student experience of e-learning, transition to University and initial engagement with Higher Education. Her current research is focusing on digital literacy and she has developed a typology of digital learners in conjunction with colleagues at Bradford.

In recognition of her contribution to the University she was awarded the Baroness Lockwood Award for Distinguished Teaching in 2007. In 2010 Becka was awarded the National Teaching Fellowship.

Publications and Presentations:

Slides from recent conference presentations are available on Becka's slideshare page.

Selected Publications:

  • Currant, N, Currant, B & Hartley, P (2010) Defining and Supporting the New Digital Student in (eds) Hartley, P et al Learning Development in Higher Education Palgrave [forthcoming]
  • Currant, B (2010) Develop Me! Support Me! Engage Me! ALT-C Newsletter
  • Currant, B & Currant, N (2009) Online Pre-Induction Support in (eds) Cook, T and Rushton, B How to Recruit and Retain Higher Education Students: A handbook of good practice Taylor Francis
  • Currant, B & Currant, N (2008) Develop Me! Support Me! Retain Me! Proceedings of Making Connections conference, Middlesex
  • Currant, B and Keenan, C (2008) Evaluating Systematic Transition to HE Brookes e-journal of Learning and Teaching (BeJLT)  
  • Currant, B and Keenan, C (2008) Learning from learners about developing e-learning resources to support transition to HE Proceedings of Student Experiences of e-Learning (SEEL) conference, Greenwich.
  • Currant, N, Currant, B, Whitfield, R, & Hartley, P (2008) Defining Generation Y: Towards a New Digital Typology of Learners in Proceedings of 3rd European First Year Network Conference
  • Cotterill, SJ; White, A; Currant, B; Currant, N (2008) Web 2.0  Implications for Learning On Reflection e-journal, Centre for Recording Achievement
  • Currant, B & Whitfield, R (2008) Helping Students Develop Their Skills Pathfinder Briefing Paper, Higher Education Academy

Selected Keynotes, Conference Papers and Invited Masterclasses:

  • Currant, B (2010) Do Social Networks Support Student Engagement? European First Year Experience Conference, Belgium
  • Currant, B; Foster, E & Keenan, C (2010) The HERE Project: Why Do Students Stay? European First Year Experience Conference, Belgium
  • Currant, B; Foster, E & Broughton, C (2010) Rites of Passage Pre-conference Workshop at European First Year Experience Conference, Belgium
  • Currant, B (2010) Supporting the Development of Effective Learners in a Digital Age JISC Annual Conference
  • Currant, B & Johnston, S (2010) Engaging Without Invading LDHEN Symposium, Nottingham
  • Currant, B (2010) Using Online Systems to Support Student Engagement Keynote to ELFYSE National Seminar
  • Currant, B ; Foster, E ; Lefever, R ; Lawther, S (2010) HERE Project Overview & Results to Date Retention Convention, Leeds
  • Currant, B (2009) Develop Me! Support Me! Retain Me ! UCLAN Retention Summit
  • Currant, B (2009) Retention and Transition Enhancing the Student Experience Conference
  • Currant, B & Currant, N (2009) Develop Me! Support Me! Engage and Retain Me! Invited workshop at International JISC online conference
  • Currant, B (2009) Understanding Diverse Students Keynote presentation to AimHigher West Yorkshire Inaugural Retention Seminar, Leeds
  • Currant, B & Currant, N (2009) How SaPRA Increases Engagement, Motivation & Success. 22nd International 1st Year Experience, Canada
  • Currant, B (2009) Effective Student Support Invited paper National Transition Conference
  • Currant, B (2009) Driving Internal Pedagogic Change Invited contribution JISC Experts
  • Currant, B (2009) What Can Other Institutions Learn From Bradford's Approach? Invited presentation to Higher Education Academy /JISC Progression and Pedagogy seminar
  • Currant, B (2009) Talking Shop or Action Group? Do cross-institutional forums help students? Workshop at 4th European First Year Experience Network Conference, The Netherlands
  • Currant, B (2009) Understanding the Student Journey Keynote presentation Kingston University Annual Learning and Teaching conference
  • Ryan, M, Lapham, A & Currant, B (2008) Pathfinding with a CAMEL ED-MEDIA, Vienna
  • Strategies for Student Retention (The STAR Conference), 14th - 15th June 2007.

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