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DIT Aungier Street (Room 5038)

2 Aungier Street

D02 HW71 Dublin

Ireland

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The Centre for Higher Education Research, Policy and Practice

Faculty of Education Technological University for Dublin Alliance

UOIT IT Blanchardstown

UOIT and Durham College have been collaborating with the Institute of Technology Blanchardstown, The Institute of Technology Tallaght and the Dublin Institute of Technology on higher education research and development issues. This collaboration has included two major connected initiatives, hosting the Higher Education in Transformation Symposia (HEIT), and signing an MOU to establish a Centre for Higher Education Research, Policy and Practice. HEIT 2015 was held in Dublin in March, 2015 while HEIT 2016 was held in Oshawa in November, 2016. A third HEIT symposium is being planned for Dublin in November 2018 to be held concurrently with the European Conference on Universal Design. Linked to the HEIT symposia is the MOU to establish an international centre on higher education research and development issues. The first piece of this institutional support for our collaboration is the establishment of a Centre for Higher Education Research, Policy and Practice within the Faculty of Education at UOIT. Faculty and staff at all of the partner institutions who are interested in higher education research, policy or practice will be able to be formally associated with the Centre and with the HEIT symposia, which will be a key activity of the Centre. We are also exploring other ways that our institutions can collaborate on these issues.

Domain themes: HEIT 2018 and Domain Network Collaboration

Domain themes are high level topics on higher education issues. We will be using these domains to organize sessions in UDHEIT 2018 in Dublin as well as for our ongoing collaborations. We are pitching our domains at a high level so that many specialized interests can be clustered together. Domain Networks are composed of researchers and practitioners with a shared interest in research, policy or practice on a higher education topic. The specific networks that we establish are expected to evolve over time. Membership in a domain network is the basic way that most people become associated with the HEIT conferences and the Centre.

Below is a list of domain networks that we are considering as a first wave over the course of this year and in the lead up to UDHEIT 2018. All of these themes have been reflected in papers and presentations at previous HEIT conferences. Links to the papers and information on the previous HEIT conferences is available from our developing website at cherpp.ca.

1. System and Institutional Design and Transformation

This domain builds directly on the core theme of the HEIT conferences. Higher education is ever changing and changes both locally and internationally. Some examples of system and institutional change include: funding formulas, workplace demands, government reporting requirements, institutional differentiation, industrial linkages, student demographic changes and student funding programs.

2. Progression, Transfer and Recognition

This domain is important both domestically and internationally. How students progress through their programs is affected by many aspects of curriculum design, course delivery, and personal achievement. Transfer and articulation is a live issue between colleges and universities in Ontario as well as for international exchanges. It also ties in to the European Bologna process around harmonization.

3. Teaching and Learning in a Digital Context

Information technologies are part of the new ubiquitous environment and are treated as an essential tool kit in many contexts. There are many pedagogies that operate within this landscape including: flipped classrooms, problem based learning, online instruction and maker spaces to name a few. No matter the pedagogy, all teaching is now conducted within a broader digital context. This domain is focused on teaching and learning whether actively engaged with this digital environment.

4. Curriculum Development and Transformation: Skills, Learning Outcomes and Universal Design

There are many considerations in curriculum development and transformation. Student skills, including soft skills, have become a focus for academic performance and workplace readiness. Learning outcomes as a design principle have been driving key aspects of vocational education but are now being adapted to higher education more generally. Universal design broadens accessibility through attending to learner diversity. These transformational forces are confronting competing curriculum priorities, including: disciplinary requirements, professional accreditation, cultural transmission, critical reasoning, liberal education, citizenship, and quality assurance.

5. Supporting Student Access and Success

Supporting student access and success is a broad topic area that involves many professionals across higher education institutions. Student access and success includes: performance and retention, learner analytics, attending to the needs of first generation students, recruitment, student financial support, minority students, social class, disabilities, and gender. Any aspect of tracking, researching and supporting student access and success would fall within this general topic area.

6. Internationalization, Globalization and Exchange in Higher Education

As an international collaboration between Canada and Ireland we have a fundamental interest in internationalization and globalization. Globalization is the process whereby there is an increasing global standardization, homogenization and interdependency. In a perfectly globalized world movement and exchange would be easy because everywhere would be like everywhere else. Internationalization assumes that there are cultural, national and jurisdictional differences and that these differences must be attended to in order to understand others or to do academic exchanges. Over time internationalization may further globalization. The Centre is engaged in these processes and will facilitate exchanges among its members and develop its expertise in these dynamics.

7. Cultural and Personal Identities

There are increasing efforts within higher education to validate and support cultural and personal identities including: indigenous cultures, minority cultures and alternative personal identities. Dominant cultures and identities also can be a focus within higher education systems as these communities react to globalization, immigration, and minority accommodations. This topic area is a dynamic and sometimes contested space.

8. Partnerships and Community Engagement

Higher education has always engaged with government, community and private sector actors. The balance of partnership and collaboration with various external actors varies across jurisdictions and over time and there can be tension over the extent that higher education systems and institutions depend on external relationships and supports.

9. Work Life, Careers and Professional Development

As institutions of higher education are changing so does working within them. The changing and dynamic workplace of higher education includes: increasing research demands for faculty; the expansion of part-time work; managing relationships between service, administrative, and academic roles; adapting to increasingly diverse student populations; professional development; unionization; collegial governance; institutional and occupational cultures; and the professionalization of support positions.

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DIT Aungier Street (Room 5038)

2 Aungier Street

D02 HW71 Dublin

Ireland

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