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Higher Education Research Centre

HERC Seminar Series

9 May, 2017 HERC was pleased to host a seminar 'Beyond access? Social mobility and life chances of non-traditional students after graduation' with Professor John Field, as part of the series 'Higher education in challenging times: questioning the unquestioned'.

While some progress has been made in widening access to higher education for students from diverse socio-economic backgrounds and also different age groups, little is known about what happens after graduation.

In this seminar, Professor John Field drew on data from across Europe to examine patterns of social mobility and the impact of higher education on the life chances of ‘non-traditional’ students after they complete their studies. A response was given by Dr Anne Looney, Dean of the DCU Institute of Education, and recently Interim CEO of the Higher Education Authority in Ireland (photo on the right).

HERC Seminar Series

John Field is Adjunct Professor in HERC and Emeritus Professor in the School of Education, University of Stirling. Between 2002 and 2007, he was Deputy Principal (Research) leading the REF (Research Excellence Framework) strategy for Stirling. Previous positions include Professor and Director of Continuing Education at Warwick University and Director of Continuing Education, University of Ulster (photo on the left).

Professor Field has a long-standing interest and involvement in lifelong learning and extensive engagement with research and policy activities at national and international levels. He is author or editor of 9 books and over 200 chapters, papers and articles, including Lifelong Learning and the New Educational Order (first published in 2000 and now in its 3rd edition).

 

HERC Conferences

48th eucen Conferenceeucen_HERC_logo, Dublin 01-03 June, 2016

In June 2016, Higher Education Research Centre (HERC) Dublin City University was pleased to host the 48th eucen conference focussed on the theme Crossing borders through lifelong learning: enhancing quality and equity in higher education. During the conference, eucen's 25th anniversary was also celebrated.

The conference attracted over 140 participants from 26 countries opening up an international dialogue about enhanced 'border crossings' to improve higher education access for a wide range of new groups of adult learners.

Contributors included:

Françoise de Viron, eucen President

Tom Boland, Chief Executive, Higher Education Authority of Ireland (HEA)

Margie Waters, Deputy Head of DG Education and Culture Unit B, European Commission

Brian MacCraith, President, Dublin City University

Maria Slowey, Director, Higher Education Research Centre, Dublin City University

The conference provided a platform for teachers, professors, managers, researchers and practitioners of continuing education who seek to widen engagement, while also promoting innovation and break down barriers by crossing borders in university lifelong learning. It also stimulated dialogue and debate with a view to developing new solutions to engagement with adult learners at local, national and international levels.

Conference Programme will be available soon.

 

HERC Seminar Series

Higher Education in Challenging Times: Questioning the Unquestioned is a seminar series aiming to stimulate debate between researchers and those engaged in policy and practice in higher education. At a critical time in Ireland and beyond, informed debate is vital to guide the decisions which will shape our higher education systems for decades to come. The series was launched in December 2010 with a seminar led by the renowned educator and scientist Professor Nelson Maculan. This series is co-sponsored by HERC, the Dublin Region Higher Education Association and the Higher Education Authority.

Seminars to date:

 Empowering Through Upskilling? Evaluation of a Policy Response to Globalisation, Keynote: Prof. Ewart Keep

 

The HERC seminar ‘Empowering Through Upskilling? Evaluation of a Policy Response to Globalisation’ was held on 9th December at DCU. This expanded the theme of higher education to the wider skills agenda taken up in a previous seminar. In her opening address, HERC director Professor Maria Slowey noted that there is “a dearth of high-quality empirical research” informing the contentious debate about skills training. She called for greater co-operation between researchers and policy makers to set the foundation for “evidence-based policy development”. To this end, she introduced the keynote speaker Professor Ewart Keep as an expert in skills policy and employer engagement who has also advised parliamentary committees in Westminster and Holyrood. Professor Keep currently holds a chair in Education, Training and Skills at Oxford University and is director of the Centre on Skills, Knowledge and Organisational Performance (SKOPE). The keynote speech was followed by presentations from Dr Bryan Fields, Director of Curriculum Development/Programme Innovation at SOLAS; Dr. Claire Gubbins, Senior Lecturer and Deputy Director of Learning Innovation and Knowledge Research Centre, DCU Business School; Dr Kara McGann, a policy executive at IBEC; and Professor Philip O'Connell, director of the UCD Geary Institute for Public Policy. Click here for more information about this seminar

 What Can We Learn from Research to Better Support Adult Learners in Higher Education?, Keynote: Prof. Miriam Zukas

HERC hosted a seminar on June 9th in DCU entitled “What can we learn from research to better support adult learners in higher education?”. The seminar was supported by the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education and was part of their seminar series 2014. HERC’s director, Professor Maria Slowey, opened the seminar and then introduced the keynote speaker, Professor Miriam Zukas, Executive Dean of the School of Social Science, History and Philosophy, Birkbeck College, University of London. The keynote speech was followed by three presentations on the research carried out in the field. Professor Mark Morgan - Cregan Professor of Education and Psychology, Emeritus, St Patrick’s College Drumcondra and Coordinator Growing Up in Ireland, Trinity College Dublin - focused on research on Cognitive Processes and Adult Learners. The second presentation by Dr. Esther Murphy - Centre for Inclusive Technology (CFIT), NCBI – focused on peer support and digital technology research to support adult learners with disabilities in further and higher education. Her primary area of research deals with working for people with sight loss and more specifically finding transition pathways to higher education for non-traditional/adult learners.The last presentation by Dr Mark Glynn - Head Teaching Enhancement Unit (TEU), DCU – examined what research reveals about engaging adult learners. The seminar also had a very interesting contribution by Mrs Ann Reilly, the former Chair of the Mature Student Society of DCU. She talked about the difficulties and barriers that mature students face when studying in DCU. The last part of the seminar was devoted to a brainstorming session, led by Professor Anne Ryan, Department of Adult and Community Education, NUIM. Click here for more information about this seminar.

How To Tackle Intergenerational Equity Gaps in Knowledge and Skills?, Keynote: Prof. Andy Green

The symposium, “How to tackle intergenerational equity gaps in knowledge and skills?” was convened and chaired by Professor Maria Slowey, Director of HERC (Higher Education Research Centre) and offered an opportunity to locate Ireland in a wider international context.The results of OECD’s PIAAC (Programme for International Assessment of Adult Competencies) study – which assesses the skills of more than 160,000 people in 24 countries in literacy, numeracy and problem-solving – was the key focus for discussion. The event was hosted by the Higher Education Research Centre (HERC) Dublin City University in association with the Royal Irish Academy and the Centre for Learning and Life Chances (LLAKES) Institute of Education, University of London. And brought together researchers and policy makers with a shared interest in enhancing adult skills. The keynote speech was given by Professor Andy Green, Director of the LLAKES Centre, and included contributions by Victor Dukelow, Joint Head of Analytical Services, Department for Employment and Learning, Northern Ireland; Professor John Field, Emeritus Professor of Lifelong Learning, Stirling University; Fiona Hartley, Executive Director, SOLAS; Donal Kelly, Central Statistics Office, responsible for administering the PIAAC survey in Ireland; and Professor Anne Ryan, Department of Adult and Community Education Maynooth. Please follow this link for more information about this seminar.

Changing Demographics Of Higher Education: Policy Implications For Research, Teaching And Learning, Keynote: Prof. Tom Schuller

Professor Tom Schuller is currently Director of Longview, presented a lecture entitled 'Changing demographics of higher education: policy implications for research, teaching and learning'. The lecture was introduced by Professor Brian MacCraith, President of DCU with expert panellists Professor Brendan Whelan, Research Advisor, the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) and previously Research Professor at the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), Professor Mark Morgan, Cregan Professor of Education and Psychology, St Patrick's College Drumcondra and DCU and Acting Director 'Growing up in Ireland' and Trudy Corrigan, Lecturer in the School of Education Studies DCU and DCU Intergenerational Learning Programme Coordinator. Click here for more information about this seminar.

Governing Higher Education: The Limits Of Public Regulation And Institutional Autonomy In A Connected World, Keynote: Prof. Dirk Van Damme

Professor Van Damme presented a lecture entitled 'Governing higher education: the limits of public regulation and institutional autonomy in a connected world'. This was followed by an open discussion chaired by Professor Maria Slowey, Director of Higher Education Research, DCU, with participants and expert panellists including Tom Boland, Chief Executive, Higher Education Authority and Professor Shirley Walters, Director of the Division for Lifelong Learning, University of Western Cape, South Africa and former Chair of the South African Qualifications Authority. Click here for more information about this seminar.

Higher Education Reform in the Atlantic Isles: Similarities and Differences, Keynote: Prof. Sir Peter Scott

On 16 May, Professor Sir Peter Scott, Professor of Higher Education, Institute of Education, London delivered a lecture Higher Education Reform in the Atlantic Isles: Similarities and Differences. This event was the fifth in a lecture series hosted by the Higher Education Research Centre (HERC) DCU, with support from the Higher Education Authority (HEA) and the Dublin Region Higher Education Alliance (DRHEA). The welcome address was given by the President of DCU Professor Brian MacCraith. The event was chaired by Professor Maria Slowey, Director of Higher Education Research and Development, DCU, with participants and expert panellists Dr Mary Canning, Deputy-Chair of the HEA, Professor Mike Grenfell, Chair (1905) of Education and Head of School, Trinity College Dublin, and Professor Richard O'Kennedy, Vice-President for Learning Innovation, DCU and current Chair of the Dublin Region Higher Education Alliance. Click here for more information about this seminar.

R&D The New Zealand Way: Funding and Prioritisation in Higher Education, Keynote: Dr. Di McCarthy

On Monday 7 March, Dr Di McCarthy, Chief Executive of the Royal Society of New Zealand delivered a lecture at the Royal Irish Academy entitled R&D - The New Zealand Way: Funding and Prioritisation in Higher Education. This event was jointly hosted by the Royal Irish Academy and the Higher Education Research Centre, Dublin City University. It was chaired by Professor Nicolas Canny, President of the Royal Irish Academy, and introduced by Professor Maria Slowey, Director of Higher Education Research and Development at DCU. Click here for more information about this seminar. 

Regional Engagement and Service Mission of Universities: North American Perspectives, Keynote: Prof. Hans Scheutze

On 4 March, Hans G. Schuetze, Emeritus Professor, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada delivered a talk entitled 'Regional Engagement and Service Mission of Universities: North American Perspectives'. This was the third of a lecture series co-sponsored by the Higher Education Research Centre (HERC) DCU, the Higher Education Authority (HEA) and the Dublin Region Higher Education Alliance (DRHEA). The event was chaired by Professor Maria Slowey, Director of Higher Education Research and Development, DCU, with participants and discussants Professor Ronnie Munck, Head of Civic and Global Engagement, DCU, and Dr. Elaine Ward, Higher Education Policy Research Unit, DIT. Click here for more information about this seminar.

 Does Higher Education Create Public Good(s) and Should it be Publicly Funded?, Keynote: Prof. Simon Marginson

The second event in the seminar series took place on Monday 21st of February, 2011. The main speaker for this event was Simon Marginson, Professor of Higher Education at the Centre for the Study of Higher Education at the University of Melbourne in Australia. Professor Marginson provides advice for the OECD and the governments of Ireland, Australia and several countries in the Asia-Pacific region, and writes principally about globalization, higher education and education policy. He presented a lecture entitled 'Does higher education create public good(s) and should it be publicly funded?'. This was followed by an open discussion chaired by Professor Maria Slowey, Director of Higher Education Research, DCU, with participants and expert panellists including Professor Patrick Clancy, Emeritus Professor of Sociology, UCD, Professor Ellen Hazelkorn, Director of Research and Enterprise, DIT and Professor Shinichi Yamamoto, Director, Research Institute for Higher Education, Hiroshima University, Japan. Click here for more information about this seminar. 

 Globalisation and Higher Education: Policy and Practice In A BRIC Country, Keynote: Prof. Nelson Maculan 

The series was launched on Wednesday 8 December with a seminar entitled 'Globalisation and higher education: policy and practice in a BRIC country' by the renowned educator and scientist, Professor Nelson Maculan. A welcome address was given by Professor Brian MacCraith, President of Dublin City University. Introductions were made by Professor Maria Slowey, DCU who acknowledged the support of the Higher Education Authority (HEA) and the Dublin Region Higher Education Alliance (DRHEA). We were also honoured to have the Brazilian Ambassador Pedro Fernando Brêtas Bastosin in attendance. The seminar was followed by an open discussion with participants and expert panellists including Dr. Bahram Bekhradnia, Director of the Higher Education Policy Institute, Oxford, Dr. Carmel Mulcahy, School of Education Studies, Dublin City University, Tom Boland, Chief Executive of the Higher Education Authority, and Professor John Field, Professor of Lifelong Learning at The Stirling Institute of Education. Click here for more information about this seminar.