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Academia in Crisis

Dystopic Optimism and Postalgic Realism in University Life

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Edited by Dr. Ida Sabelis

Academia is standing at a junction in time. Behind lies the community of the curious, ahead the mass and the market. This book joins in a growing stream of works that explore the vicissitudes of present-day European universities in what Bauman coined as liquid times. Here, a number of concerned (engaged) European scholars attempt to defend and brush up academic core values and practices, starting from their own life worlds and positions in higher education. They share the view that there is no point in turning back, nor in mechanically marching straight on. Above all, they uphold that there is no alternative to treasuring academia as a space for thinking together. Hopefully the fruit of this sine qua non invites to think with, and envision academic activism. Contributors are Samuel Abraham, Stefano Bianchini, Simon Charlesworth, Leonidas Donskis, Frans Kamsteeg, Joost van Loon, Ida Sabelis, Tamara Shefer and Harry Wels.
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Rich Pickings

Creative Professional Development Activities for University Lecturers

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Daphne Loads

Creative Professional Development Activities for University Teachers: Rich Pickings offers both inspiration and practical advice for academics who want to develop their teaching in ways that go beyond the merely technical, and for the academic developers who support them. Advocating active engagement with literary and nonliterary texts as one way of prompting deep thinking about teaching practice and teacher identities, Daphne Loads shows how to read poems, stories, academic papers and policy documents in ways that stay with the physicality of words: how they sound, how they look on the page or the screen, how they feel in the mouth. She invites readers to bring into play associations, allusions, memories and insights, to examine their own ways of meaning making and to ask what all of this means for their development as teachers. Bringing together scholarship and experiential activities, Daphne challenges both academics and academic developers to reject narrowly instrumental approaches to professional development; bring teachers and teaching into view, in contrast with misguided interpretations of student-centredness that tend to erase them from the picture; claim back literary writings as a source of wisdom and insight; trust readers’ responses; and reintroduce beauty and joy into university teaching that has come to be perceived as bleak and unfulfilling.

This book does not attempt to construct a single, coherent argument but rather to indicate a range of good things to choose from. Readers are encouraged to explore the overlaps and the gaps.
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Culture and Environment

Weaving New Connections

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Edited by David B. Zandvliet

The inspiration for this book arose out of a large international conference: the ninth World Environmental Education Congress (WEEC) organized under the theme of Culture/Environment. Similarly, the theme for this book focuses on the Culture/Environment nexus. The book is divided into two parts: Part 1 consists of a series of research studies from an eclectic selection of researchers from all corners of the globe. Part 2 consists of a series of case studies of practice selected from a wide diversity of K-Postsecondary educators. The intent behind these selections is to augment and highlight the diversity of both cultural method and cultural voice in our descriptions of environmental education practice. The chapters selected for inclusion in this volume focus on a multi-disciplinary view of Environmental Education with a developing view that Culture and Environment may be inseparable and arise from and within each other. Cultural change is also a necessary condition, and a requirement, to rebuild and reinvent our relationship with nature and to live more sustainably. All submissions address the spirit of supporting our praxis, therefore submissions are directed towards both an educator and researcher audience. Each submission describes original research or curriculum development work.

Contributors are: Mauricio Alarcon, Patricia Armstrong, Nelson Ávila, Kylyan Bisquert, Paulette Bynoe, German Vargas Calleja, Antonio Fernandez Crispin, Darja Dimec, Dirk Franco, Annette Gough, Carolyn Hayles, Thomas Hudspeth, Sophia Hunter, Adela Kincaid, Kuang-Chung Lee, Dylan Leech, Micheli Machado, Shiho Miyake, Kieu Lan Phuong Nguyen, Dien Olivier, Judith Priam, Margit Säre, Zuzana Vasko, Karin Ulbrich, Brian Waswala, Barry Wood, and David Zandvliet.
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Higher Education System Reform

An International Comparison after Twenty Years of Bologna

Edited by Bruno Broucker, Kurt De Wit, Jef C. Verhoeven and Liudvika Leišytė

The Bologna Declaration started the development of the European Higher Education Area. The ensuing Bologna Process has run for already 20 years now. In the meantime many higher education systems in Europe have been reformed – some more drastically than others; some quicker than others; some with more resistance than others. In the process of reform the initial (six) goals have sometimes been forgotten or sometimes been taken a step further. The context too has shifted: while the European Union in itself has expanded, the voice for exit has also been heard more frequently.

Higher Education System Reform: An international comparison after Twenty Years of Bologna critically describes and analyses 12 Higher Education Systems from the perspective of four major questions: What is currently the situation with regard to the six original goals of Bologna? What was the adopted path of reform? Which were the triggering (economic, social, political) factors for the reform in each specific country? What was the rationale/discourse used during the reform?

The book comparatively analyses the different systems, their paths of reforms and trajectories, and the similarities and the differences between them. At the same time it critically assesses the current situation on higher education in Europe, and hints towards a future policy agenda.

Contributors are: Tommaso Agasisti, Bruno Broucker, Martina Dal Molin, Kurt De Wit, Andrew Gibson, Ellen Hazelkorn, Gergely Kovats, Liudvika Leišytė, Lisa Lucas, António Magalhães, Sude Peksen, Rosalind Pritchard, Palle Rasmussen, Anna-Lena Rose, Christine Teelken, Eva M. de la Torre, Carmen Perez-Esparrells, Jani Ursin, Amélia Veiga, Jef C. Verhoeven, Nadine Zeeman, and Rimantas Želvys.
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Under Pressure

Higher Education Institutions Coping with Multiple Challenges

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Edited by Pedro N. Teixeira, Amélia Veiga, Maria João Machado Pires da Rosa and António Magalhães

A core position in the knowledge economy policies has been ascribed to higher education. This has enhanced the complexity of the environment in which higher education institutions operate. These deal with a wide range of pressures stemming from the State, the corporate world, the society at large and political interests, let alone those arising from the constituencies of higher education institutions (academics, students and non-academics). Institutions are expected to cope with these pressures by developing strategies involving quality management, performance and assessment, innovation, while reconfiguring the relationships between research, teaching and learning.

The core business of higher education is being reshaped, challenging institutions’ internal life to strategically respond to the reconfiguration of their role and missions. Topics such as governance and management, strategies and strategizing, budget control, performance and assessment, quality management, local and regional innovation come to the fore front. Under Pressure: Higher Education Institutions Coping with Multiple Challenges addresses these topics by convening approaches to the understanding of the interactions between policy drivers and institutional practices in governance, funding, performance indicators, regional innovation, strategy and strategizing, quality and management, and professionals.
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Edited by Joy Higgs, Steven Cork and Debbie Horsfall

“What might the futures of practice be like?” is far from a straightforward question. Emphasising "the" before the word future, implies one future. But futures thinkers have identified a range of futures that people think about. In this book we reflect on possible, probable, and preferable futures in relation to practice and work. Readers are invited to consider how their own engagement in shaping possible futures will support ways of working that they deem preferable, even those they can hardly imagine. Challenging Future Practice Possibilities also examines influences that are maintaining the status quo and others that are pushing interest-driven change. Authors consider the major challenges that practice and practitioners face today such as wicked problems, fears for the future and complex demands and opportunities posed by the digital revolution. A number of examples of future-oriented work directions such as protean careers and artificial intelligence enhancing or even replacing human workforces, are considered along with concerns like the vulnerability of many work situations and workers. In some cases workers and employers alike are unprepared for these challenges, while others see adapting to these situations as yet another pathway of practice futures evolution.
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Education for Employability (Volume 1)

The Employability Agenda

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Edited by Joy Higgs, Geoffrey Crisp and Will Letts

Universities are expected to produce employable graduates. In Education for Employability, experts explore critical questions in the employability agenda: Who sets the standards and expectations of employability? How do students monitor their own employability? How can universities design whole curricula and university environments that promote employability? What teaching and learning strategies facilitate the development of employability?

Responsibility for developing and sustaining employability lies with a broad coalition of the individual students, the university, alumni, the professions and industry and is accomplished through the intended curriculum as well as co-curricular, extra-curricular and supra-curricular activities, events and learning opportunities.
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Dieter Timmermann

Abstract

The issue of student fees became controversial in Germany following the introduction of tuition fees in seven of the 16 federal states beginning in 2006. This resulted in resistance and protest movements among students. The author describes his experience as the President of the University of Bielefeld during this period. Student protests and activism, and their support by the majority of the public, resulted in the abolition of tuition fees in all seven of the states by 2013/2014. The author concludes with a discussion of the arguments for and against tuition fees that were raised before and during the tuition fees controversy in Germany, and the various factors that affected the course of events during this period.

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Michelle Pidgeon

Abstract

Higher Education in Canada began in the late 1700s with the establishment of the first universities in Quebec and New Brunswick (Jones, 2014). While these institutions were often built upon unceded Aboriginal lands, Aboriginal peoples’ participation in higher education did not begin until the late 1960s. There were a few early participants (e.g., post wwii) but participation at that time meant giving up one’s status as a First Nations person. This act of assimilation occurred in Canada throughout its educational systems’ policies and practices (e.g., residential schools and day schools for K-12). The participation shift that took hold in the late 1960s and 1970s was due to several factors including: development of Aboriginal specific programs and services; establishment of Aboriginal post-secondary funding programs; and increased high school completion rates. The purpose of this chapter is to describe the policy, program, and practice changes that have resulted in slowly transforming Canada’s higher education system from a tool of assimilation to one of Indigenous empowerment and decolonization. The chapter will explore ideas of what the purpose of higher education is in relation to Indigenous understandings of life, work, and civic engagement.

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Hans G. Schuetze and Walter Archer

Abstract

After a general overview of the main features of the Canadian system of higher education, the authors focus on access to and participation in this system. Although Canada has one of the highest participation rates among OECD countries, there are several groups who are under-represented. Among these are members of the Indigenous population, partly for historical and political reasons, and partly because many of them share features with two other underrepresented groups, i.e. would-be students from rural and sparsely populated areas, and potential students from families with a low socialeconomic background. Discussing barriers to participation such as cost, affordability, student aid and graduate employment, the authors conclude with a call for reforms that will abolish or at least lower present obstacles to successful participation by these groups.