Annual Report 2008, Göteborg
Interest in Higher Education continues to grow, and as usual, Network 22 was very fortunate to be able to host a large and exciting programme of approximately 120 papers at this year’s ECER Conference. These included 4 valuable Roundtables and 4 excellent Posters Spain, Portugal and Sweden. Again, as usual, we were pleased to hear and share contributions from a good range of countries, mainly from within Europe but also from a wider international constituency:
Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Iran, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Rwanda, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, The Netherlands, Turkey and the UK.
The subjects and issues presented on during the Network programme covered a wide scope of HE issues and interests. It is hard to do full justice to the full range and richness offered by the programme in a few sentences.
However, we can list the areas included this year:
- Internationalization and Globalization issues in HE Reform,
- Policy and Change in HE
- Higher Education Management and Governance
- Developing Quality in Higher Education
- Developing Employability, Skills and Competencies in HE
- Widening Participation and Equality Issues
- Technology and E-learning (including a valuable Roundtable on ‘E-Learning in Higher Education: Teaching and Learning Perspectives’ (Spain and Sweden))
- Gender Issues in HE
- Research and ‘Researching’ into Higher Education
- Studies in Transition – moving into and moving out of HE
- Teacher education (and Children’s services) in HE
In addition, there were a large number of interesting papers on students’ teaching and learning issues.
For example: assessment, motivation, identity, peer- learning, problem-based learning, pedagogy/methodology, changing curricula, supervision practices, the research/teaching relationship, civic engagement, student language diversity, student reflection and writing, etc, etc.
We welcomed an increased number of papers on ‘Student Inclusion and Student Well-Being’, and the area of ‘Academic Development and Academic Careers and Identity’ had a particularly high profile this year. In fact, the increase and the significance of academic development for university staff was one of the key themes in the programme.
There were many papers and two Roundtables presented on this theme. The paper ‘Becoming Scholars: Inside Professional Biographies’ presented by the University Barcelona, Spain was particularly fascinating and proved to be extremely popular. In addition to the individual papers, the two Roundtables ‘Developing quality in Higher Education: The Role, Significance and Impact of Academic Development Programmes’ (differing perspectives from Estonia, Sweden and the UK) and ‘Pathways into Academia: early career Development in Higher Education in a Comparative Perspective’ (from Germany and the UK) presented for discussion early research on many dimensions of this increasingly significant issue.
We look forward to more research on this at future conferences. And finally, it was good to welcome (again) a Roundtable on ‘Tuning Educational Structures in Europe – Education Services’ at the beginning of the programme. The long-term and wide-ranging project ‘Tuning Educational Structures in Europe’ focuses on the Bologna – Prague - Berlin- Bergen process, and links the political objectives set in the Bologna Declaration of 1999 to the higher education sector. Various members of the Tuning Project have presented at the Conference over the last few years, and it was valuable to hear about and discuss final phase of this project As in previous years, we would like to thank the people who Chaired the sessions so well. In addition to the Chairing done by the Network Convenors, thank you very much Julie Anderson, Graham Badley, Josephine Boland, Lars Gunnersson Chris Kubiak, Coral Pepper, Juana Sancho, Christine Teelken, Rodolf Tippelt, and Mary Thornton.
Network Meeting 2008
The Network 22 Meeting was held on Thursday 11th 12.40 – 13.30 (room B2 213).
The following items were presented and discussed:
1. An introduction to the new Network 22 convenors.
Five new Network 22 Convenors have now joined Barbara Zamorski (UK), Jani Ursin (Finland), Elinor Edvardsson Stiwne (Sweden) and Rob Walker (UK). These five are Mariana Gaio Alves, Portugal, Rosemary Deem (UK ), Mari Karm (Estonia), Laurie Lomas (UK), and Monne Wihlborg (Sweden).
Seven members of this larger convenor team were able to be present at the Conference this year (not Rosemary Deem and Rob Walker) and introduced themselves at the Network Meeting.
2. The participants of the meeting introduced also themselves.
It was good to see both ’old’ and ’new’ members at the meeting
3. Network 22 website and email list
Jani Ursin presented the Network 22 website (<link http: ktl.jyu.fi ktl font>ktl.jyu.fi/ktl/eeranetwork22<//font</link>), describing and demonstrating what is currently included and how both Network member and others can use it for information and communication – not only for EERA/ECER business and activity, but other HE activity that people wished to use it for. Anybody who would like to post information etc on the website can e-mail Jani who will place it there (for example, Conference calls or new HE book information). Jani also talked about the current Network e-mail list (approximately 150 people at the moment) and that people could join the list very easily by just sending him their names and e-mail addresses.
4. ECER 2009 in Vienna
Barbara talked about the next year’s conference in Vienna.
Important items to note were that:
The main conference will take place from Mon 28th - Wed 30th September 2009. This is later than usual and does not follow the usual Wednesday – Friday pattern
As other major Conferences will also be taking place in Vienna at this time, it is advised that accommodation is booked very early. Many hotels are already booked up, and EERA suggest looking for Pensions and Bed and Breakfast (B&B) accommodation. Some people suggested later on that small groups could maybe rent apartments.
c) The Network 22 Programme for 2009:
We discussed the possibilities of organizing joint Symposia and/or Roundtables with other networks, especially with Networks 2 (VETNET), 7 (Social Justice and Intercultural Education) and 23 (Policy Studies and Politics of Education). Also, the possibility of arranging more Roundtables within the Network. At the moment, we have a large programme and are now running 4 parrallel sessions some of the time. By holding more Roundtables (RT), rather than very many sessions of three papers in a row, we could bring more people together on one issue or theme per session. A RT can also be more interactive in nature. This planned (hoped for) shift of emphasis to RTs next year would not negate the inclusion of standalone papers as usual though.
Possible themes for RTs raised in the discussion included:
internationalization, assessment/evaluation, inequality in HE and widening participation.
Deadline for proposal submission is 1st of February 2009 (Further and detailed information: ecer2009.univie.ac.at) but we suggested that people contact the Convenors as early as possible about their ideas/thinking so that they could be put in touch with others thinking on similar lines and thus organize a RT before this date.
Network members were encouraged to post research interest to network’s webpage. A short description of research interest should be send to Jani Ursin (email@example.com) who will then put them on the webpage.
5. Network 22 still plans to guest edit a volume of the EERJ next year.
This was discussed in some detail during the meeting, and a number of people offered to become involved. More information about this venture will be sent out to members in the near future. Conveners were asked to inquire about the reader profile of EERJ from Martin Lawn, the Editor of EERJ
The Network noted the immense help that the EERA office offers to all of us and thanked them very much. Please visit the EERA website (as given above) for detailed information and help in preparation for next year’s Conference.
Network 22 Dinner
We finished the Conference on Friday evening with a Network 22 Dinner at one of Gothenburg’s well-known fish restaurants. It was both a stimulating and relaxing event.
A big Thank You For those people who attended the Conference this year, the Network Convenors would like to thank you very much for your participation, and for making this an exciting and stimulating experience. Research in Higher Education is absolutely crucial at the moment. Being able to share and discuss our experiences, research and thinking on a European (and international) level is very important. For those thinking of attending (and presenting) in September 2009 Vienna, we look forward very much to hearing from you.
With best wishes from the Network 22 Convenors.