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Digitisation Perspectives

Digitisation Perspectives


The Digital Student Experience: Exploring the role of technology on the student experience

Society for Research into Higher Education

Date – Friday 15 November 2013

Venue – SRHE, 73 Collier Street, LondonN1 9BE

Network – Student Experience/Digital University

This event has been put together by the SRHE Student Experience Network and the Digital University Network. We will be exploring the role of technology on the student experience, with a focus on research that has engaged students and investigates their experiences.

Draft programme:

11:00am: Coffee and registration
11:30am: Introduction
11:45am: Jeremy Segrott, Cardiff University, ‘Connecting academic writers – the #Acwri Twitter group’.
12:30pm: Lunch
1:30pm: Melissa Highton, University of Oxford, ‘Researching the Digital Student Experience of Oxford University’
2:15pm: Eve Stirling, University of Sheffield, ‘Stories from Facebook’
3:00pm: Panel with questions from Twitter
3:30pm: Tea and close

‘Connecting academic writers – the #Acwri Twitter group’:

This presentation discusses our experience of developing #Acwri – a Twitter-based support network that aims to identify common challenges in the writing process; enable participants to reflect on their own practice as writers; and share strategies for effective writing.  Acwri ‘meets’ on Twitter fortnightly, using synchronous tweets (messages) and a keyword (#acwri – short for academic writing), enabling anyone with a Twitter account to follow and/participate. 

Jeremy Segrott is a research fellow in public health based in the DECIPHer Research Centre at Cardiff University His research focuses on the role of family relationships and parenting in the prevention of alcohol misuse by young people, and the effectiveness of family and school-based prevention programmes. 

‘Researching the Digital Student Experience of Oxford University’:

In 2011 researchers at Oxford University undertook a study of the student digital experience within the University in an attempt to identify technologies which appropriately support Oxford’s traditional teaching methods, graduate skills expectations, and the social dimension of student life. The purpose of the study was to inform institutional decision-making and to understand how current technologies, systems and services are perceived and experienced by students and staff.

Melissa Highton is Director of Academic IT at Oxford University. She is responsible for developing use of technology in learning and teaching across the university and maintaining Oxford’s world-class reputation in the areas of IT support for learning, teaching and research.  She leads service delivery and projects in Academic IT to meet the needs of lecturers and researchers in furthering the strategic goals of the University.

‘Stories from Facebook’

Facebook is ubiquitous in many of the lives of young undergraduate students. Research in this area shows that Facebook is a key tool in being a student (Selwyn, 2009), both through social support and supporting academic study. The focus of Eve’s research is exploring the realities of social media use by undergraduates. Specifically their use of Facebook in the first-year transition to university. She did this through a mixed method two-phase approach of large-scale questionnaires (n=685) and a longitudinal connective ethnography (n=6), across Facebook and the university campus. The findings are presented in six narrative stories of my Facebook friends at key moments across the academic year. Drawing on this data she presents two contrasting themes – “this Uni is run on Facebook” and “disconnection (I don’t want to be here, anymore)” to explore the role of technology and specifically Facebook, on the student experience.

Eve Stirling currently undertaking an ESRC funded PhD researching first year undergraduates’ usage of Facebook in their transition into university life. Her research interests include technology and higher education (HE), the use of social media in HE and the pedagogical impacts of these. She is also interested in design thinking and its influence on the research process, ethnographic research methods and the influence of space and time on the student experience. She is a member of IRis, Interdisciplinary Research in Socio-Digital Worlds and the Centre for the Study of New Literacies at The University of Sheffield. She is senior Lecturer in Design at SheffieldHallamUniversity.

Reserve a place at thus event:

 Note: Unless otherwise stated SRHE events are free to members, there is a charge of £45 for non-members.


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 The Centre for Leadership andEnterprise,SchoolofEducation,UniversityofGreenwich

SRHE Post-Compulsory and Higher Education Research Network and

BERA Post-Compulsory and Lifelong Learning SIG

Invite you to a Research Event on

Pedagogic Leadership in Post-Compulsory Education: Does it Exist?

Keynote Speech: Emeritus Professor Denis Gleeson

Friday 11 May 2012 at 10.00 (refreshments) until 2.00 pm

Venue: University of Greenwich, Devonport House

King William Walk, Greenwich

London SE10 9JW


To book please visit


Yours sincerely

Francois Smit, SRHE Event Manager, Society for Research into Higher Education, 73 Collier Street, London N1 9BE, Telephone 0207 427 2350, Fax number 0207 278 1135,,


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SRHE Annual Research Conference 12-14 December 2012

SRHE Newer Researchers Conference 11 December 2012


What is Higher Education for? Shared and Contested Ambitions

Celtic Manor, Newport in South Wales, United Kingdom


Dear Colleagues

The Society warmly invites contributions for its Annual Research Conference 2012.

Call for Papers available to download now at this link: SRHE Conference 2012 Call for Papers download

The Conference welcomes papers relating to further, higher, undergraduate, postgraduate and professional education in a wide range of research domains.

The Society’s Annual Conference is a truly international event bringing together delegates and contributors from over 40 countries. We hope researchers and scholars from the many forms of higher education globally and in the UK will contribute to this Conference, stimulating international debate on the way in which higher education is responding to economic, social and political and cultural pressures and both re-defining and re-asserting its nature and purpose. As higher education researchers, we aim to provide significant, meaningful research insights and knowledge to inform and guide universities, governments and societies.

This year’s conference will examine many perspectives on the role and value of higher education and explore ways in which research into higher education can support and strengthen shared ambitions and illuminate contested ones by taking a broad and multi-faceted view of the nature and purposes of higher education.

The SRHE Annual Conference provides a major platform for the presentation and sharing of research in every aspect of higher education and is a highly participative event, offering a range of plenaries and smaller discussion groups and seminars.

You are invited to contribute to this debate in a variety of ways: by presenting a paper, sharing in a symposium, including work of a conceptual or theoretical nature, or organising a round table on any aspect of this year’s theme or your own research interests. Empirical and scholarly research from a wide range of perspectives is welcome. Registrations from delegates not presenting work this year are warmly welcomed.

The deadline for submission of proposals is Friday 29 June 2012

This timetable will enable all submitting authors to receive early notification of papers accepted and take full advantage of early booking discounts.

We look forward once again to receiving your proposals and to another very successful conference at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, Wales, UK and I encourage you to submit your work and register for the conference as soon as possible.

Registration by 30 September 2012 will guarantee accommodation at the world famous Celtic Manor resort (rather than adjacent hotels) and attracts important early registration discounts. 

You will find all the information you need on making a submission on the Conference website:

Conference registration is now open.

If you have any additional enquiries or any difficulty accessing the Call for papers please email the Society at

We hope that you will contribute a paper and participate in this conference and look forward to seeing you in December 2012.

SRHE Newer Researchers’ Conference 11 December 2012

The SRHE Newer Researchers’ Conference on the same theme will take place at the Celtic Manor one day in advance of the Annual Research Conference.

This is an excellent event for postgraduate students and newer researchers, providing the opportunity to present research work in a nurturing environment and participate in a number of seminars and discussions. The Call for Papers for this Conference will be issued shortly and the timetable for submissions and registration are later for this smaller conference.

The SRHE Annual Conference is the largest UK based higher education research conference. Do please help us continue to extend the reach of this conference by forwarding this email to relevant colleagues and organisations.

Kind regards

Helen Perkins, Director, Society for Research into Higher Education

Further Information

For all abstract submissions, conference registrations, further information and updates on the Conference please access the Conference website at:

If you require any further information or assistance, please contact the SRHE Conference Team:


Conference Director: Helen Perkins Director, SRHE

Conference Organiser: Francois Smit,

Society for Research into Higher Education, 73 Collier Street, London N1 9BE, Tel +44 (0) 20 7427 2350, Fax +44 (0) 20 7278 1135,


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UALL Widening Participation and Social Inclusion Network

Convenor: Annette Hayton, Head of Widening Participation, Goldsmiths, University of London

SRHE: Access and Widening Participation Network

Convenor: Penny-Jane Burke, Roehampton University


Venue: SRHE, 44 Bedford Way London WC1R 4LL

Date: Thursday 14th July 2011

From 1pm- 4pm (lunch available from 12:30pm)


The Ethics of Widening Participation Seminar Series


Ethical dilemmas in widening participation: issues of pedagogy and identity

Dr Jacqueline Stevenson, Leeds Metropolitan University

For more than a decade various governmental policy initiatives have been implemented in the UK to increase the number of students attending higher education. However, whilst these initiatives have been widely critiqued there has been almost no consideration as to the ethical implications of widening participation. This is a significant omission since both WP policy and practice give rise to serious ethical concerns, not least being whether we should continue to increase access to HE at all knowing that many widening participation students are more likely to drop out, get worse degrees, graduate with higher levels of debt and be less employable post-graduation than their peers. Drawing on issues of pedagogy, student support and both staff and student identities, this presentation will act as a ‘think-piece’ offering an opportunity to consider the implications of widening participation from both an ‘ethics of justice’ and ‘ethics of care’ perspective. 


Widening Participation and the Capability Approach

Dr Michael F. Watts, University of Cambridge

This paper uses the capability approach to address the ethics of the widening participation agenda.  The capability approach de-emphasises the significance of commodities (including educational commodities) in favour of the opportunities they enable in pursuit of the good life.  It demands a context-based understanding of how the socio-cultural circumstances of young people influence the real opportunities they have to recognise the value of and engage with higher education.  This more nuanced engagement with the concept of well-being recognises that the inevitability of human diversity generates different realisations of the good life.  It also enables engagement with the adaptation of preferences that continue to bedevil attempts to increase access to higher education.  The focus on freedom, illustrated here with reference to a number of empirical studies, frames a more just approach to widening participation that is concerned with what young people have rather than what they lack. 



Event booking details

To reserve a place at this seminar please email Nicola Manches at: or telephone +44 (0) 207 4472525.   Please include the name of your institution and whether you are an SRHE or UALL member.


SRHE members: free

UALL members: £25

All Non members: £40

Payment can be made by cheque (made payable SRHE and sent to SRHE, 44 Bedford Way London WC1R 4LL ) or phone through with credit card details.  Please note that places must be booked in advance and that a £25 for non attendance if a place has been reserved but no notice of cancellation/non attendance given by 7 July 2011.

Yours sincerely

Francois Smit

Society for Research into Higher Education

44 Bedford Row

London WC1R 4LL

Tel: +44 20 7447 2525

Fax: +44 20 7447 2526


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Monday 11th July 2011

12.00-4.00pm (lunch inclusive)

Venue: SRHE, 44 BedfordRow, London, WC1R  4LL


The French university at the crossroads: between bureaucratic accountability and the quest for excellence

Dr Romuald Normand & Professor Jean-Louis Derouet, Institut Français de l’Education, Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon

French higher education institutions, beyond official rhetoric, remain profoundly divided between the elitism that provides excellence for the few, and the democratisation that is reflected in the massification of higher education. This is illustrated by the expanse between the prestigious and highly selective grandes écoles (the Oxbridge or Ivy League of the French system) and the ‘fac’ – the ordinary universities. Moreover, the paucity of French research and scholarship on higher education means that there is no persistent analytical and potentially critical voice coming from the academy, nor any relevant empirical findings. Changes have, however, occurred within the system with theBolognaprocess, the creation of the National Research Agency, and legislation on university autonomy. Romuald Normand and Jean-Louis Derouet will examine and analyse current tensions and propose ways forward.

The Strange Saga of Policy as Success

Guy Neave, Scientific Director of the Centre for Research in Higher Education Policies (CIPES)Porto,Portugal, and Professor Emeritus of the Centre for Higher Education Policy Studies atTwenteUniversity, theNetherlands

This presentation is not concerned with the Bologna Process so much as an exemplar to examine a broader issue of HE policy as a multi-level process. Who defines success? And at what level – inter-governmental, system or institutional level?  Does success at one inevitably mean success at another?  How is the Bologna Process perceived less by reformers – by the pays politique – as by those who have reform done to them – that is, at institutional level by the pays réel, academics, students and administrators. This presentation draws on findings across seven higher education establishments in four EU member states:Norway,Portugal,ItalyandGermany. It suggests optimism is best when heavily diluted with caution.

The European Higher Education Area (EHEA): is there a future?

Noël Vercruysse, Director, Higher Education Policy Unit, Flemish Belgian Ministry of Education

The implementation of the Bologna Process in the first decade of the 21st century has had a significant impact on European higher education at levels of the system: the government, higher education institutions, academic staff and students. Much has been achieved, but it is certainly an exaggeration to say that we are living in a vibrant and dynamic EHEA. After theLeuvenconference in 2009 the Bologna Process and the EHEA are losing momentum. Why is this, and what can be done about it? Is there still a future for the EHEA, and, if so, what kind of future? Noël Vercruysse will discuss these issues as well as focus on what he considers a main policy priority for the coming years: differentiation and diversity in higher education and the consequent need of good transparency tools.

Event booking details

To reserve a place at this seminar please email Nicola Manches at: or telephone +44 (0) 207 4472525. SRHE events are open to all and free to SRHE members as part of their membership package. The delegate fee for non-members is £25 [full time students £20]. Non members wishing to join the Society may do so at the time of registration and the delegate fee will be waived.

Please note that all places–for SRHE members and non members-must be booked in advance and that we have to charge £25 for non-attendance if a place has been reserved but no notice of cancellation/non-attendance given in advance of the day of the event.

(Interested in joining the IIR Network but not able to attend this event? To receive details of future events in this series and to join the mailing list, please email

Yours sincerely

Francois Smit, Society for Research into Higher Education, 44 Bedford Row, London WC1R  4LL, Tel: +44 20 7447 2525, Fax: +44 20 7447 2526


‘I believe in the afterlife.

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When I go to work’

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