Influencing European Education Policy
Joint PhD with SUSTech
In response to the pandemic, Professor Jo Angouri, Academic Director of Education and Internationalisation, initiated discussions with European universities around higher education teaching. The Insight Paper she produced through the Guild provides institutions, governments, and the EU with policy recommendations for research led education in a digital age.
How does this work?
Universities, collectively and individually, are in the process of learning from the emergency interventions of the pandemic, and need to provide students, staff and non-academic stakeholders with enriched learning approaches and dynamic environments for the future.
Balancing National and International Pedagogy
Universities operate in a place of significant tension. They need to balance disciplinary knowledge with interdisciplinarity; international orientation with local embeddedness; national accreditation systems with providing flexibility and enabling international staff and student mobility. Higher education needs to do much with little and become more efficient.
From February 2020, this tension became more pronounced across Europe as countries and regions enforced Covid-19 lockdowns. Students and staff had to balance being ‘on’ and ‘off’ line and operating in a digital space. The dominant face-to-face teaching model needed to change to hybrid and blended learning approaches.
Learning From European Best Practice
The pandemic prompted Guild members to discuss how research-led education should develop in a digital age. Questions arose of what should be taught, and why and how to teach graduates for continuous change. In this context the Guild commissioned Professor Jo Angouri, Warwick’s strategic lead in education within the Guild, to develop an Insight Paper.
Her Insight Paper would provide a framework to enhance universities’ contribution to the world through research-led graduates. Recommendations would be based on approaches of educational best-practise from Guild members that developed relevant skills and mindsets. Future-proofing learning needs, experiences, and models for students would blend face to face and digital.
The Guild published the Insight Paper 'Reimagining Research-led Education in a Digital Age' in June 2021. The recommendations called for European policy bodies, national authorities, and university organisations to provide interventions and a framework for reimagining research-led education in a digital age.
The deep change that came with the pandemic has highlighted the social aspect of learning, the impact of isolation on wellbeing, the depth of the digital divide and the need for flexible approaches to higher education pedagogy.
“Higher education should enable and empower students and staff to transcend disciplinary, national and international borders. There is still some way to go from the current national accredited, delivered and regulated education models to an open and dynamic university. It is the right time to pause and take stock of what we have learned from the past, and from the COVID-19 disruption, and respond to it”. - Jo Angouri (Professor of Applied Linguistics)
Founded in 2016, The Guild comprises twenty-one of Europe’s most distinguished research-intensive universities in sixteen countries, and is dedicated to enhancing the voice of academic institutions, their researchers and their students. The Guild is committed to the pursuit of excellence, the importance of truth-seeking and trust-building as the foundation of public life, and the creation of new knowledge for the benefit of society, culture, and economic growth.
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