Focus on what Excellence is… not how to measure it’
‘Focus on what Excellence is… not how to measure it’
UKCGE’s 2016 Annual Conference was held on Monday 4th and Tuesday 5th of July at Liverpool’s Iconic Town Hall, and turned out to be the Council’s most popular annual meeting in recent years boasting 134 attendees.
The event, tilted ‘achieving excellence in Masters and Doctoral Education’, focused on nurturing and achieving excellence in teaching, supervision, programme design and supporting structures for postgraduate education. Professor Paul Ashwin, Head of Educational Research at Lancaster University, formally opened the event in which he argued ‘excellence is not something anyone displays all the time, and to achieve it delegates should focus on what it is and not how to measure it’. Professor Ashwin also presented his 7 myths of teaching excellence disputing it’s emptiness as a concept until considered in relation to actual practice.
Other keynote speakers included Professor Pam Denicolo, a former UKCGE Executive Committee Member, who talked about Excellence in Postgraduate Supervision and Dr Aulay Mckenzie who explored strategies towards mental toughness for postgraduate students. Council Networks of Deans and Directors and Graduate School Managers also hosted symposium’s at the conference, of which the latter benefitted from a conference wide panel session ‘supporting excellence in postgraduate education’.
Drawing the conference to a close, UKCGE Chair Professor Rosemary Deem OBE said,
‘Over the last couple of days, we have seen what a number of UKCGE members are doing to achieve excellence in their respective institutions. We have also explored what excellence really means for the postgraduate sector, now and in the near future.’
‘I would like to thank everybody for their contributions, particularly speakers, session chairs, the organising committee and UKCGE’s office team who have been busy behind the scenes. Thanks also go to Liverpool Town Hall for hosting us, and Oh Me Oh My last night’s dinner venue.’
‘As Brexit starts to tear the Higher Education system apart one of our key challenges will be maintaining the quality and diversity of postgraduate students in the UK. And, retaining and engaging academic staff both within the EU and outside it as they produce so much with regards to excellence through the types of activities we have been learning about yesterday and today.’
Attention now turns to next year’s Annual Conference in Porto on Thursday 6th and Friday 7th of July 2017, which is titled ‘Postgraduate Education in the European Context; successes, challenges and futures’.