Friday, 8 November 2013

Developing students as researchers within College-based Higher Education.

A presentation by Dr Jonathan Eaton (Newcastle College), at the Research-Teaching Practice in Wales Conference, 9th September 2013, at the University of WalesGregynog Hall. Edited by Professor Simon Haslett.

Research-Teaching Practice In Wales Conference 2013
Dr Jonathan Eaton
The purpose of this paper is to outline the challenges which College-based Higher Education (CBHE) providers face in nurturing communities of research encompassing both staff and students. It will present a case study of the development of a research culture within a large CBHE provider. 

Eight percent of HE students in England are taught within a college environment (Parry et al., 2012). This figure is likely to grow over the coming years in light of the renewed emphasis on widening participation and increasing demand for flexible provision, areas in which colleges are likely to play a crucial role. Embedding the concept of ‘HEness’ within institutions offering different levels of FE and HE is a matter of debate across the sector (Lea and Simmons, 2012). The research activities of teaching staff play a crucial role in differentiating between FE and HE provision. A number of larger colleges are in the process of applying for degree awarding powers which will give greater autonomy and responsibility to the institutions concerned. The QAA (2013) has recently published guidance on its expectations of scholarly activity within such institutions. 

Newcastle College has implemented a unique strategic approach to research and scholarly activity within the CBHE sector. This involves the creation of opportunities which empower students as researchers both within and beyond the curriculum. Particular emphasis is placed on celebrating the scholarly outputs of students. The institution values students as partners and peers in the research conducted by staff. Students are also encouraged to actively contribute to the management and dissemination of research. This approach is not without challenges, particularly in identifying a suitable range of opportunities to engage a diverse student body.

Video's used in the presentation:

Lea, J. and Simmons, J. (2012). Higher education in further education: capturing and promoting HEness. Research in Post-Compulsory Education, 17 (2), pp. 179-193.

Parry, G., Callender, C., Scott, P. and Temple, P. (2012) Understanding Higher Education in Further Education Colleges. London: BIS. 

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