In the above interview, Professor Rob Cuthbert, SRHE News Editor, talks to Professor Penny Jane Burke. Formerly at the University of Roehampton, Penny is now based at the University of Newcastle Australia and has had a long involvement with SRHE, as a member of its publications committee and as convenor of the SRHE Widening Access and Participation Network. In this interview Penny initially discusses her recently launched book, Changing Pedagogical Spaces in Higher Education - Diversity, inequalities and misrecognition - see https://www.routledge.com/Changing-Pedagogical-Spaces-in-Higher-Education-Diversity-inequalities/Burke-Crozier-Misiaszek/p/book/9781138917224. Penny also goes on to talk about her work following her recent move to Australia.
In the above interview, Professor Rob Cuthbert, SRHE News Editor, talks to Professor Helen Higson. Helen is Provost and Deputy Vice Chancellor at the University of Aston and is also convenor of the SRHE’s Employability, Enterprise and Work-based learning network. In this interview, Helen talks about her SRHE role, and in particular how this SRHE Network is looking to provide a space for practitioners, researchers and policy makers to rub shoulders. Helen goes on to talk her role as a member of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) panel, and the desire to help shape this recent policy development.
In responding to consultations on higher education, or indeed seeking to reflect opinions on HE matters generally, the Society has to present a balanced view across a spectrum of many different and often conflicting viewpoints. The BIS Green Paper: Fulfilling our Potential: Teaching Excellence, Social Mobility and Student Choice, published for open consultation on 6 November 2015, presented a number of challenges. The consultation period, although set to be the required minimum of 10 weeks, was short for any organisation not previously afforded the opportunity to contribute and also covered the winter vacation period. For a Learned Society seeking to provide a solid evidence based contribution this was especially difficult. Non-STEM leaned societies were noticeably absent from the list of organisations consulted prior to publication, leaving the social sciences, arts and humanities to start from first base. The format was also challenging in that answering many of the questions necessitated “buying into” premises and proposals that needed to be challenged. Many organisations, SRHE included consequently chose primarily to address issues with some of the main proposals rather than make a full response to the questionnaire.
In order to draw on a breadth of opinion and gather supporting research evidence for the Society response to the Green Paper SRHE embarked on a broad consultation process of its own. In addition to collecting contributions from members of the SRHE Governing Council and Standing Committees, two formal consultation opportunities were organised. The first of these was a meeting convened at the SRHE annual conference in December, when we were pleased to have nearly 100 participants in an evening discussion. This was especially helpful in gathering a range of international contributions as well as UK specific ones. The second event was an invitation event held at the SRHE offices in London where just under 50 invited participants drawn from across higher education in the UK were invited to participate in a series of specially commissioned presentations and an open discussion.
From this consultation process the Society put together a response which sought to reflect opinions which seemed to be widely shared across a range of organisations and HEIs and focussed on issues where it was felt proposals needed much more careful scrutiny and support from a firmer evidence base. What we did not manage to achieve was to marshal the research evidence in time for the consultation deadline. We are continuing to work on this as the discussions on the Green Paper proposals move forward and we would particularly welcome contributions from all our academic research colleagues on collating this research evidence to help us with this process. All contributions should be sent by email direct to the SRHE Director: firstname.lastname@example.org
The submitted Society response was very strong on the need for the key proposals put forward to be subject to parliamentary consideration, stating that:
“We consider the case for the necessity for primary legislation very well founded and strongly advocate the need for primary legislation to follow from democratic debate in both houses. The fact that no Coalition or Conservative HE reforms have been debated in the Houses of Parliament since 2010 is a matter of concern”.
Our sincere thanks go to all involved in making this event such a success.
The full colloquium programme is now available from the following link SRHE 50th Anniversary Colloquium (June 2015) as are the following:
Professor Michael Shattock OBE, from the UCL Institute of Education, London has kindly put together a short history of the Society, tracing its origins in 1965 through to the 1980s, detailing the many changes and key events for the Society over this period.
Printed copies of this booklet are available on request by e-mailing email@example.com and a pdf version is available from the following link SRHE & the Changing World of HE: The first 25 years
The Society's annual report for 2015 is available via the following link SRHE Annual Report 2015.
A Special Issue of SRHE News, covering the 50th Anniversary Colloquium of June 26th 2015 is available here SRHE News Issue 21 (September 2015)