HERDSA Notices 9 September 2020

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* Overcoming Funding Challenges in Universities: Restructuring and Reforms for the Future
* The experiences of women navigating doctoral education and motherhood
* Writing about learning and teaching
* New online first articles in Higher Education Research and Development

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Overcoming Funding Challenges in Universities: Restructuring and Reforms for the Future
Tuesday, September 15th 2020

Post Brexit, UK Universities face vulnerability from marketised systems, a decrease of non-EU students who in turn bring £4.8bn (HEPI) and a loss of £763m in tuition-fees and teaching grants from UK students (leading to mergers and cutbacks). Additionally, Covid-19 is only accelerating the pressures after years of untrammelled growth and approbation. The Government’s £2.6bn financial stabilisation package comes with a caveat to embrace reform; Universities squeezed by domestic pressures, need to answer the underlying debate on the value of education, and its accessibility to the broadest possible numbers, in order to form a coherent education system. 

The UK Government has committed to invest 2.4% of GDP on science and research and development by 2027. Yet, recent announcements of ringfencing 5,000 places for ‘front-line’ worker related courses, a £100m injection after a taskforce review, and access to CBILS and CCFF potentially worth £700m do little to answer the Augar review which called for an “ideological shift from pro-market pro-expansion policies”. There is a political appetite for change: with 34% of graduates not in grad-jobs, this was tolerated during high employment but with a recession on the horizon – a key shift is required.

Despite the uncertainties, this symposium provides an invaluable opportunity for key stakeholders across the higher education sector, to discuss the most challenging issues, share ideas and develop strategies. The symposium acts to ensure that universities remain committed to collaboration and will continue to be global in their impact to safeguard Britain’s status as a world-leading place to study and research at such a critical time.
·         Identify and capitalise on new funding opportunities to secure UK’s globally renowned research capabilities
·         Gain insights into the Government’s planned restructuring and policy framework
·         Examine how Government’s ‘levelling-up’ agenda will focus universities to bridge social and economic divides
·         Evaluate how universities can qualm tensions and bolster the education, health and prosperity of their local area
·         Discuss giving greater priority to alternative forms of educational provision
·         Learn how blended learning, innovative methods and hybrid formats can increase uptake in competitive markets
·         Collaborate with key stakeholders to shape future best practice in the education sector
·         Take a closer look at current & future technologies that could help transform UK’s higher education sector

Register online at https://www.publicpolicyexchange.co.uk/event.php?eventUID=KF01-PPE


The experiences of women navigating doctoral education and motherhood

We are seeking doctoral students past (2015-) and present who are also mothers and caregivers, to complete an in-depth online survey.

Chief investigator: Dr Shannon Mason
Email: shan@nagasaki-u.ac.jp
Murdoch University ethics approval number: 2020/028

This research project aims to highlight the possibilities and challenges for mothers in the doctoral education space, to provide a source of guidance and comfort for current and future doctoral researchers, and to identify potential areas for improved student well-being and retention.

If you could please pass on the information to any of your recent past or present students, or any bodies involved in supporting doctoral students, it would be greatly appreciated.

Detailed information can be found at: https://phdmums.weebly.com


Writing about learning and teaching

We are delighted to announce the publication of Writing about Learning and Teaching in Higher Education: Creating and Contributing to Scholarly Conversations across a Range of Genres (Healey, Mick, Kelly Matthews, and Alison Cook-Sather, 403pp). It may be downloaded for free from Elon University, Centre for Engaged Learning, Open Access Books https://www.centerforengagedlearning.org/books/writing-about-learning/; or, if you would prefer a hard copy, you should be able to purchase one from Amazon in the next couple of weeks.

The book arises from an article we published last year on “Writing Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Articles for Peer-Reviewed Journals” (Healey, Matthews, and Cook-Sather 2019). Our aim in the book
was to demystify and to challenge the writing and publication processes that serve implicit and explicit gatekeeping functions in the academy. We see, now, at the intersection of the global pandemic and the widespread uprisings against anti-Black racism, expanded opportunities and a renewed sense of urgency to write both within and beyond “traditional” (mostly Western, mostly white) genres in ways that move us closer to creating more just and more authentic institutions and educational practices.

In the book we unpack the process of writing for publication in a wide variety of genres, including empirical research articles, conceptual pieces, case studies, reflective essays, stories, and social media. We recognize that the boundaries between these genres and others we discuss—literature reviews, opinion pieces, books and edited collections, conference and workshop presentations, and teaching award, fellowship, and promotion applications—are overlapping and provisional. This we see as a strength, not a problem, since working within and across genres may encourage new ways of engaging, analyzing, and sharing understandings that can, in turn, legitimate this wider range of ways of writing about learning and teaching.

We argue that “… writing for publication is not simply producing a text but is, rather, a complex process of joining a conversation, forging an identity, and embracing an opportunity for ongoing learning” (p.330). Moreover, we recognize that there are many communities having different conversations about learning and teaching—disciplinary and inter-disciplinary; formal and informal; context specific and reaching across contexts. The book is aimed at faculty, staff, and students new to and experienced in writing about learning and teaching. We cite a wide range of scholars, offer snippets of our own stories, and weave in reflections by seasoned and new academics, graduate students, and undergraduates from different parts of the world who share their experiences of writing about learning and teaching. The book is supported by a wide range of online resources.

We hope you will enjoy reading the text as much as we have had in writing it.

Mick Healey, Kelly Matthews and Alison Cook-Sather

Reviewer comments
“Your book is a real gift. … it’s beautifully written—with a great voice—scholarly but personal. That sense of a human presence, an engaging voice, is the piece most often and glaringly missing from academic writing. So, in addition to giving readers lots of great guidance, you’ve given them a model of what such writing looks like at its best.”
Pat Hutchings, Senior Associate, Carnegie Foundation and Senior Scholar with the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment, USA

“What a very useful book this is going to prove to be, really helpful for lots of people especially since there are links to online resources and in-text activities plus reflections from lots of different people. It’s a really new way of looking at academic writing that goes well beyond simple handbooks to guide the production of texts.”
Sally Brown, Emerita Professor, Leeds Beckett University, UK

Healey, Matthews, and Cook-Sather (2019). Writing Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Articles for Peer-Reviewed Journals. Teaching & Learning Inquiry, 7(2), 28-50. https://doi.org/10.20343/teachlearninqu.7.2.3 Open Access.
Healey, M., Matthews, K., & Cook-Sather, A. (2020). Writing about learning and teaching in higher education: Creating and contributing to public scholarly conversations across a range of genres. Center for Engaged Learning Open-Access Books, Elon University, USA https://www.centerforengagedlearning.org/books/writing-about-learning/ Open Access.


New online first articles in Higher Education Research and Development

Academic temporalities: apprehending micro-worlds of academic work through a photo-serial methodology, Susanne Gannon & Carol A. Taylor, https://doi.org/10.1080/07294360.2020.1809998

International education through a bioecological development lens – a case study of Chinese doctoral students in Australia, Xing Xu, Helena Sit & Shen Chen, https://doi.org/10.1080/07294360.2020.1811646

Socially enabled actors: the emerging authorship of fixed-term instructional faculty to enact and sustain organizational change, Kathleen Quardokus Fisher & Milo D. Koretsky, https://doi.org/10.1080/07294360.2020.1811647

Staff and student experiences of working together on pedagogic research projects: partnerships in practice, Rachel E. Maunder, https://doi.org/10.1080/07294360.2020.1809999

Educators’ emotions involved in the transition to online teaching in higher education, Dawn Naylor & Julie Nyanjom, https://doi.org/10.1080/07294360.2020.1811645