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Experts to discuss how mindfulness can improve Higher Education

The University of Warwick is hosting a two day conference to explore how mindfulness can improve teaching in higher education.

Experts from Australia and the United States will be speaking at Mindfulness in Health and Higher Education which has been organised by the University and its medical school, Warwick Medical School.

Dr Craig Hassed, Associate Professor at the University of Monash is one of the pioneers of mindfulness teaching in medicine and will be a key note speaker at the conference. Dr Hassed’s visit to the University of Warwick is part of the visiting educator scheme managed by the Warwick International Higher Education Academy and facilitated by the Monash Warwick Alliance, an award-winning partnership between the two Universities.

The conference which is taking place on Friday 16 & Saturday 17 June will build upon the growing body of evidence for the effectiveness of mindfulness. Although it will have a particular emphasis on medical education it will also look at how to effectively teach mindfulness across a variety of courses from law to teacher training and to professionals who provide services to student such as librarians and counsellors.

Mindfulness is described as paying attention on purpose to what is going on inside and outside ourselves, moment by moment. Becoming more aware of the present moment can help people understand themselves better and experience afresh things that they may have been taking for granted. In June 2015 a House of Commons cross party report was released that supported research in mindfulness in high risk groups.Sarah Stewart Brown

Sarah Stewart Brown, Professor in Public Health at Warwick Medical School is organising the event with colleagues from Warwick Medical School, and Leicester Medical School and the University of Warwick Centre for Life Long learning. She said: “The conference is particularly focussed on experience of designing, implementing and evaluating mindfulness courses.

“It is thought that trainee doctors, other health professionals, trainee teachers, lawyers and managers can benefit from mindfulness.

“There has been research that indicates fewer medical errors occur and there is less professional ‘burnout’ when doctors practice mindfulness. Research also indicates it encourages greater compassion within teaching and health care. In the short term there is good evidence that mindfulness supports learning and memory so it enhances student performance.

“There will be many opportunities at the conference to engage with the practical issues relating to applying mindfulness in a university setting such as workshops and panel discussions. The conference is suitable for a wide range of audiences from the higher education and professional education fields.”

The event will be opened by Professor Stuart Croft, Vice-Chancellor, University of Warwick. Keynote speakers include Dr Craig Hassed, Monash University, Australia, Professor Ron Epstein from Rochester University, USA and Professor Alvaro Guerra who is Chancellor of Albert Einstein University, Mexico.

The University of Warwick has a Mindfulness Research Network which seeks to promote quality research in the field of mindfulness by providing an interdisciplinary forum across the university and beyond. The Monash Warwick Alliance is an award-winning partnership between Monash University and the University of Warwick. Recognised as a leader in global education, the Alliance combines the exceptional teaching and research capabilities of two world-class universities to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

12 June 2017

For further details please contact Nicola Jones, Media Relations Manager, University of Warwick 07920531221 or N.Jones.1@warwick.ac.uk