We are pleased to be welcoming Prof. Paul Ashwin to deliver the keynote address at this year’s Learning and Teaching Conference, Education for All: Learning Together. Find out more about Paul and the keynote address below:
What is a university education for?
The global pandemic has led to changes to university teaching and learning practices and significant financial pressures on the higher education sector. In the face of unexpected social and economic challenges, there is a danger that the quality of higher education will be judged simply in terms of graduates’ employment outcomes and we will lose sight of the educational purposes of a university education. In this keynote, I will argue that, in order to reinvigorate our understanding of university education, we need to focus on how students are supported to develop transformational relationships with disciplinary and professional knowledge. These relationships change students’ understanding of themselves and the world and are central to the many ways in which going to university can transform students’ lives and contribute to societal well-being. I will explore the implications of this argument for our educational practices.
Paul Ashwin is Professor of Higher Education and Head of the Department of Educational Research at Lancaster University. He is Deputy Director of the Centre for Global Higher Education, an ESRC funded research centre involving 10 international universities. Paul’s research is focused on the educational role of higher education. His book, ‘Transforming University Education: A Manifesto’ (2020), argues for a focus on the educational, rather than economic, purposes of university degrees in order to understand their transformational impact on students and societies. He is also the lead author on Reflective Teaching in Higher Education (2015, 2020) which is written by an international team to support the development of research-informed university teaching.
Get involved in this year’s conference
The conference will take place on the 31 March 2022 and all colleagues and students are invited to register.
The call for submissions closes on the 14 January 2022 so there’s still time to submit a proposal.