Coventry University Case Study

The challenge

Coventry University is a forward-looking, modern university with a proud tradition as a provider of high quality education and a focus on applied research.

Ranked number 12 in the UK and in the top 6 for student experience, the University takes a pro-active approach to supporting student study and success.

In 2012/13 the University introduced No Hidden Extras to help address the additional costs of study. The initial scheme was successful and the University wanted to build on that success in partnership with JS Group.

The solution

No Hidden Extras has been rebranded Flying Start and this provides all students at Coventry University with access to the resources and services they need to study and succeed. Flying Start has been developed as a component to support:

  • Recruitment – influence students’ choice of university through commitment to minimising hidden extras.
  • Student Satisfaction – tangible enhancement of the student experience supporting NSS.
  • Pedagogy – providing resources critical to achieving course learning goals

How it works

Working with the University, JS Group provides:

  • Core textbooks in print and digital formats to all 1st and 2nd year students.
  • Vouchers for 3rd year and part-time students to purchase learning resources from a dedicated website

We ensure that every student has access to their resources within their first 10 days at the University.

The better outcome

Student response

The amount that was included in the Flying Start offering really did make a massive difference during my studies. The available equipment, resources and trip allowances are tailored depending on the type of course you study. To be honest, these extras became an important factor for myself and other course mates when deciding upon their University and choice of course.

Joe Lloyd, Media and Communications graduate

University response

Flying Start is one component in an overall student engagement strategy that has seen Coventry achieve consistently high NSS scores, to be awarded Modern University of the Year for 3 years in a row, to have been awarded TEF Gold and to have risen in most of the annual league tables.

Teaching Excellence Framework

No Hidden Extras/Flying Start is a major element of the learning environment provided by the University as reflected in their TEF submission:

Since September 2012, the No Hidden Extras initiative has been a major financial investment by the University to support students in their learning. All new undergraduates joining Coventry University and CU London are provided with a course specific start up package, including relevant textbooks or support materials (e.g. professional subscriptions, software licences etc.) and a large number of printing credits. In addition, any mandatory UK site visits and trips are included in the package. We make a commitment to students that they can all benefit from course enrichment activities including industrial visits, field trips and international visits, irrespective of background. The No Hidden Extras Grant is an additional grant to enable students to undertake an international travel or UK placement during their course of study. We know that these opportunities are beneficial to student success as graduates. In total, we spent just under £6.6m across the group on course specific packages including the No Hidden Extras initiative and international experience grants (£1,455,198). In 2015/16 the number of students supported to undertake an overseas visit or trip was 3,158 and over 12,000 students engaged in international activities, with the resulting positive impact on their employability outcomes.

In awarding Coventry its Gold Award, the TEF panel highlighted:

  • a comprehensive and embedded approach to personalised learning which maximises rates of retention, attainment and progression
  • outstanding physical and digital resources which pervade all aspects of student experience, including state-of-the-art integration of learner analytics, student support, and timetabling

To find out more about Aspire Connect please contact, David Fox, HE Partnerships Director on

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