Fruni is about giving as many people as possible the opportunity to experience the most inspiring teaching at UK universities, as voted for by students.
First we give students the chance to experience the best teaching their university has to offer, regardless of the subject they study.
Then we work with universities to put these brilliant teachers at the heart of their outreach programmes. We aim to create a publicly free national resource of outstanding university teaching.
At the moment we're growing the first part of the fruni model. We're currently trialling the second part of the model at the University of Bristol and will soon be ready to grow this too.
If you have any thoughts or advice about the fruni model, we'd love to hear from you. You can email us here.
The fruni story
The first seeds of fruni were sewn when fruni founder Tom was studying engineering at Bristol Uni. He was interested in engineering, but also wanted to learn about lots of other stuff whilst at university. So whenever a friend talked about having a great lecturer, he'd go along, sit at the back and check it out. Invariably this one lecture led him to think about new ideas, read an unexpected book, or at the very least have a good conversation later in the pub.
Tom decided that this was awesome, and that every student should have the chance to be inspired by great teaching from lots of different subjects, as recommended by other students. So he started the Best of Bristol (BoB) Lectures, a student voted showcase of some of the best teaching from across the university.
To make this happen, Tom set up an online statement of support to allow others to show that they thought this was a good idea. Over 1000 students, staff, alumni and even parents of students signed up, including 3 Deans of university faculties and the President of the Student Union. He then asked students which of their lecturers they thought that everyone should have the chance to experience. Over 1,500 students voted using an online voting tool. The first showcase of 11 lectures attracted over 3,000 students. In its second year, the BoB lectures put on 5 lectures, which were again attended by over 3,000 students, staff and members of the public.
The BoB Lectures couldn't have happened without the driving force of a team of student volunteers, who marketed and coordinated the lectures. Special mention must be made to the fantastic George Cave and Sophie Sladen for leading these teams.
Following this success, Tom secured some funding from the wonderful UnLtd and The University of Bristol to grow the BoB model to other universities. And here we are!
We believe passionately in the power of inspirational individuals to get people to do new and interesting things. We're positive people. We're not in the business of criticising ' bad' lecturing, assessing teaching quality or setting up performance indicators. We give students a platform to identify and share what they find inspiring. We don't define inspiring, and we don't put our own judgement on student choices. We work with students to celebrate their top voted teachers and share them with as many people as possible.
We think that just a small amount of access to inspirational teaching can spark off follow up actions that could grow into lifelong passions.
We don't want to create celebrity lecturers- we just want to celebrate great lecturing.
Where's this going?
We want to create a national social capital fund of top university teaching, as voted by students. This will be a 'public good' that will be a free resource for society.
Check out this clip for an overview of what we're planning (don't forget to switch on your sound!)