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  • How Open Data, data literacy and Linked Data will revolutionise higher education

    By Derek McAuley, Hanif Rahemtulla, James Goulding and Catherine Souch – ‘Open Data’ refers to the philosophical and methodological approach to democratising data, enabling individuals, communities and organisations to access and create value through the reuse of non-sensitive, publicly available information. This data is typically available online at no cost to citizen groups, non-governmental-organisations (NGOs) and businesses. Some view this as the logical conclusion to Freedom of Information (FoI) Acts in various countries—if citizens can ask for the data, why […]

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  • First class: how assessment can enhance student learning

    By Sally Brown – Too many universities pay insufficient attention to assessment: usually the mechanics are adequately managed, but the purposes and practices are less well thought-through, relying on ‘tried and tested’ approaches, which in reality are neither. ‘Nothing we do to, or for our students is more important than our assessment of their work and the feedback we give them on it. The results of our assessment influence students for the rest of their lives and careers.’1 Assessment in […]

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  • Diversity in higher education and social mobility

    By Matt Grist and Julia Margo – Let us introduce you to Asa (not her real name). We met Asa at a Community College in London, England. Asa was a ‘learning advocate’, someone who represents the college to external visitors like us, and who observes lessons, carries out research and advocates on behalf of students to the college’s senior staff. Asa was a bright, focussed young woman. And she wanted to go to university. What she wanted to study was […]

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  • What is ‘higher’ about higher education?

    What is ‘higher’ about higher education?

    By Gavin Moodie – This short article answers Cleveland’s question ‘What is “higher” about higher education?’ 1 by distinguishing higher education from vocational education on the one hand and school education on the other. It argues that education varies by the extent to which its context is academic disciplines and the extent to which its context is outside education, most often work. Higher education is distinguished from vocational education by being more academic and less externally contextualised than vocational education. […]

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  • Learning for the future

    By Phil Race – It has long been recognised that learning happens by doing rather than by just being in the presence of someone more learned. For centuries, higher education educators’ roles centred on transmitting the content of precious books, articles and other resources in ways that learners could handle. Now, information is ubiquitous. Most learning resources are available to just about everyone online (often free) or through a plethora of information-handling channels. This necessitates transformed roles for educators, to […]

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  • Know-That, Know-How and Know-Why: The Unity of Knowledge

    Know-That, Know-How and Know-Why: The Unity of Knowledge

    By Brian Mooney – While there are ever new issues in addressing the future of education, there are some dimensions of education that remain perennial. While debates rage over whether a university (or even pre-tertiary) education ought to be liberal or foster growth in a globalised economy perhaps we should step back in order to re-focus on what all education involves.  In a recent book I proposed a tripartite distinction in respect to understanding teaching and learning. 1 I argued […]

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  • Innovation in higher education

    By Geoff Mulgan and Mary Abdo – For universities around the world these are both exhilarating and troubling times. Enrolment in tertiary education has risen beyond any expectations, to some 150m worldwide.1 A truly global industry has taken shape, with new technology enabling rapid collaboration and dissemination of ideas, and students increasingly matriculating at foreign institutions. Yet there is also disquiet. Much important knowledge creation takes place outside of higher education. Few institutions are rich or self-sustaining, and many face […]

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  • The purpose and process of lifelong learning: all work and no play?

    By Ezri Carlebach – The term ‘lifelong learning’ has its modern origins in post World War I reconstruction efforts. In view of the extension of suffrage, and with at least one eye on the principles of the October Revolution in Russia, the Adult Education Committee of the Ministry of Reconstruction declared in 1919 that: ‘adult education… is a permanent national necessity, an inseparable aspect of citizenship, and therefore should be both universal and lifelong’. 1 The use of lifelong learning […]

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  • How higher education can drive an enterprise revolution

    By Wendy Purcell and Caroline Chipperfield – Universities are places of discovery and innovation, as expressed through the two pillars of their activities; teaching and research. Around the world some universities are moving to view their academic endeavours through the lens of enterprise, further extending their so-called ‘third stream’ activity and embracing a wider cultural and social agenda. From this perspective, ‘being enterprising is the ability to respond to change, take risks, to innovate and to generate and implement new […]

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