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Join us to learn how to build assessment expertise through our Masters in Educational Assessment.  Hear about the course content and ethos, and the experiences of our students.  This event is for individuals who may be interested in learning more about assessment and organisations looking to strengthen the expertise of their workforce.

Please note that this event is online-only and requires advance registration.

According to generalized internal/ external (GI/E) frame-of-reference model, motivational beliefs are explained through academic achievement. In Africa respective studies are rare. In the present study, we investigated the model’s applicability to expectancy, utility, and cost beliefs of Rwandan lower-secondary students (N = 771; 51.0% female) within Chemistry and Math (quantitative domain) as well as English and Kinyarwanda (language domain). Through multiple-group structural equation models (SEM) we compared the model’s applicability to basic-education and boarding schools. Admission to boarding schools depends amongst others on performance during national school examinations. Hence, both school types can be interpreted as different tracks within Rwanda’s system of school-level ability grouping of students. The model’s applicability differed across school types. Within basic-education schools, achievement predicted mainly cost beliefs. Within boarding schools, achievement predicted cost and especially expectancy beliefs. Across both types, respective beliefs were positively predicted by achievement within subjects. Within basic-education schools, beliefs within one language were also positively predicted by achievement in the other language (i.e., assimilation effects). Within boarding schools, beliefs within subjects of one of the domains (i.e., language or quantitative) were negatively predicted by prior achievement in subjects of the other domain (i.e., contrast effects). We therefore concluded that school-level contextual factors such as multilingualism may moderate motivational processes that Rwandan secondary students experience. This may have implications especially for the design of motivational interventions whose potential has not been fully explored within the African context.

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The devastating effects of the Russian invasion of Ukraine are visible to all. As the CGHE webinar of 19 may showed, tertiary and high education too have been fundamentally disrupted and in places eliminated. Many students and academic faculty have left the country or been drawn into the war effort and buildings and infrastructure destroyed. The future of local tertiary education in Russian occupied zones is bleak. What is less visible is that the war has been accompanied by a savage repression of anti-war protest in Russia, catching many students and faculty in its net, and a moral crisis for institutions.

The rectors of state universities all signed a statement of support for Putin’s ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine, reminding the world that university leaders are appointed by the state and institutional autonomy is highly constrained when the interests of the regime are at stake. The state has jettisoned Russian participation in the Bologna alignment of structures and courses in Europe and appears to have dropped the internationally benchmarked ‘five in 100’ excellent programme designed to lift Russian universities up the global rankings. International links now seem to be actively discouraged, a return to the Soviet era closure, and large numbers of academic faculty and students have left the country. For faculty and students who remain in Russia, many of them deeply opposed to the policy of the country and grieved by the shutting down of free intellectual life in the universities, the future looks bleak. Our two experts who lead the webinar are in touch with the internal situation in Russia but unlike their colleagues inside, free to speak the truth.

This webinar is part of the free public seminar programme hosted by the Centre for Global Higher Education (CGHE).

In early 2021, in the wake of the global #MeToo movement, an online petition in Australia generated more than 500 testimonies from school students, depicting experiences of sexual assault during their time at school and asking for more emphasis to be given to consent education in secondary schools.  

This seminar shares findings from a research project conducted by the Literary Education Lab at the University of Melbourne, Australia, in conjunction with the Stella Prize for women and non-binary writers, titled ‘Teaching Literature with Consent’. This project analysed commonly taught canonical texts and showed that literature taught in secondary school English regularly includes accounts of interpersonal violence, including sexual harassment and sexual assault. Consequently, the research demonstrated that subject English, and the teaching of literature more broadly, provides an important site through which to contribute to consent education.  However, in terms of pedagogical practice, this project also found that teachers of English commonly avoid discussing the more sensitive issues pertaining to sexual relations when conducting a novel study. This seminar will provide the opportunity for teachers to discuss the report’s findings, and the implications of this research for practice, pre-service preparation and CPD.

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Meeting ID: 848 2970 9061

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We live in tumultuous times and unexpected global shocks are succeeding each other at shorter and shorter intervals. As soon as the pandemic began to recede war erupted in Ukraine. Worse, our governmental and political systems seem ill-equipped to lead successive responses, and bring populations with them towards constructive solutions. As we move closer to the heart of the storm, there are three variables in play: (1) higher education/knowledge, (2) states and geo-politics, and (3) digital futures. What mix will emerge and what will be the resulting possibilities and consequences, for not just the multiple missions of higher education but for societies across the world?

In a disordered world facing challenges on many fronts, higher education, knowledge and graduate citizenship have never been more important. Higher education is uneven, country by country, but it has become a great collaborative sector capable of fostering and supporting cooperative networks at scale, augmented by digital media. Higher education can educate whole populations in the values, practices, knowledge and skills needed to effectively tackle common problems. At the same time, research science and social science are absolutely vital if we are to begin to turn around climate change. Yet higher education and knowledge, especially science, are themselves under growing pressure amid populist politics in many countries (e.g. United States, UK, India, Brazil and much of Europe), many governments are moving to secure closer control over higher education (e.g. the above list plus Russia, Hungary, Turkey, China and more) – not because higher education is defective, but for political reasons of their own. At the same time, significant parts of research collaboration and international student mobility, already affected by the pandemic (especially student mobility), are being trashed and thrown aside by global geo-politics.

Yet who cares? Who is really looking after higher education? It has become normal for at least some governments to see higher education simply as an opportunity to build populist support for themselves through divisive ‘culture wars’, and as a means of shifting responsibility for social outcomes. In the UK it seems that ‘levelling up’ in higher education means reducing opportunities for first generation students in economically deprived areas whose institutions offer so-called ‘low value’ courses, as measured by graduate salaries. ‘Employability’ as currently interpreted makes higher education responsible for job creation in the economy. Higher education has not been directly blamed for galloping inflation (yet) but in UK it is already associated with the blow out in the cost of graduate debt triggered by the link between debt and the retail price index, which puts it in the firing line.

Authoritarian and irresponsible government renders the sector more vulnerable to geo-politics, where pressures are mounting. In UK Brexit has dramatically reduced staff and student movement and research cooperation between UK and continental Europe. In numerous countries student mobility is threatened by government and/or populism (e.g. reductions in international students in Denmark) or visa restrictions (e.g. Chinese doctoral students entering the United States). The determination of the US to retain global supremacy over China has triggered a new era of securitisation in science and technology, threatening to reduce research linkages between China and all Euro-American countries, with grim implications for cooperation on global pandemics, climate change, and food and water. There has been racialised persecution of American-based scientists with Chinese names. Meanwhile, the US Supreme Court decision on rights to abortion (the reversal of Roe v. Wade), signifying the growing power of fundamentalist pre-scientific religion in that country, bodes ill for science, already under growing attack from populist politicians controlled by the fossil fuel industry. Big oil and gas finance armies of trolls perpetuating false claims on social media. Digital society has tremendous potential for both good and ill. Can it become consolidated as a medium of truth and education, rather than hatred, lies and dumbing down at scale? Meanwhile war has returned to Europe, and as a result Russia junked its policy of building internationalised science and repressed public activism in its universities – while higher education and research in Ukraine have been completely halted in some areas, with many students and academics forced to flee the country.

At CGHE’s 300th seminar/webinar, Simon Marginson will review the deteriorating political environment in which national and international higher education sits, and consider the medium term challenges that this poses. He will argue that the situation requires a renewed focus on academic autonomy and knowledge freedoms; a willingness of research universities in particular to sustain cross-border cooperation, if necessary, outside the nation-state system; and the development of common formal protocols to facilitate this cooperation. Diana Laurillard will argue for a new role for universities in strengthening their collective power to make the world a better place, in ways envisaged in so many of our mission statements. She will propose that we set out to harness the positive opportunities of digital technologies to the cause of engaging researchers with their professional end users in collaborative knowledge development and innovative practices. Claire Callender will explore the changing nature of the relationship between higher education, the state, and the market using England as a case study. She too will argue that the state is increasingly encroaching on higher education and that such encroachments need to be challenged by the sector. A lively Q&A discussion is guaranteed!

This webinar is part of the free public seminar programme hosted by the Centre for Global Higher Education (CGHE).

In January 2020, the UK opened up an immigration pathway to several million Hong Kong residents which would allow them to come to the UK to work and study. The crucial criteria was that they had British National Overseas citizenship which residents were eligible to apply for before the handover of Hong Kong to the People’s Republic of China in 1997. There were 100,000 applications in the first 12 months of the programme which is in line with the Government’s estimate of between 250,000 and 350,000 BNO holder arrivals in by 2026.

Although BNO holders have a specific immigration route, there has been little to no discussion of how they will fit into UK higher education, nor estimates of how higher education institutions might adapt. This webinar will aim to unpack some of the impacts and questions the arrivals of BNO holders will have for UK higher education, drawing on the wider context of an increase in displaced people, pressure on undergraduate places and the role of China in UK higher education.

This webinar is part of the free public seminar programme hosted by the Centre for Global Higher Education (CGHE).

In the last years there has been an increased awareness of the critical role that academic research has at a national and regional level of a country’s development requiring it to be managed for public policy purposes. In fact, many countries have implemented a research evaluation system to cope with the complexity of the concept ‘quality of scientific research’, to balance the connections between scientific research and public purposes, and to guarantee the sustainability of academia through the system of competitive funding.

This seminar aims to focus on the role, contributions, and responsibilities of the researcher in the context of research evaluation as an academic part of a community, on the one hand, and as an academic editor of a journal on the other hand. Through a Systematic Literature Network Analysis, the research first identifies two main communities reflecting the contributions of Social Sciences and Bibliometrics. In this scenario, the researcher is identified as an academic part of a particular scholarly community where the act of creatively and systematically building further blocks of knowledge on research evaluation involves the effort of numerous diversified disciplines, each investigating the topic from different perspective. In fact, the literature on research evaluation and its effects is vast and diverse. The results of the literature review draw attention to the contributions of the communities of researchers from Social Sciences and Bibliometrics, by depicting their responsibilities and function within the research assessment process and providing an emerging definition of ‘research quality’. However, a researcher is not only a scholar part of a community, but sometimes they also hold roles as academic editors in different journals, thus, directly acting as an agent in deciding which manuscripts are published. By conducting a survey to editors of journals from organisational sciences and orthopaedics and sports medicine, the research aims to identify, through the perspective of Institutional Logics, the underlying assumptions (in this case, institutional logics) that lead an editor to legitimise the quality of the chosen manuscript to be published. Hence, the responsibilities and role of the researcher could be seen as twofold, first, by contributing to the discourses on research evaluation from their community’s perspective, and second, by acting as a legitimising agent of the mechanism of evaluation and influencing scholarly communication.

This webinar is part of the free public seminar programme hosted by the Centre for Global Higher Education (CGHE).

Global higher education expansion has produced many unintended consequences. In the context of limited supply of elite job positions in labor market, tertiary expansion can lead to cohort crowing and exacerbate inequality in graduate employment.

This panel introduces two papers on Chinese college graduates’ experiences. The first paper, titled “Effort or pedigree? A Study on Unequal Employment among Chinese Elite University Graduates”, focuses on the elite reproduction in elite universities, using multiple explanatory cases with thick description based on interview data. Its analytical framework is generated from theories of boundaries and positional conflict theory. It identifies three strategies for elite college students’ career advancement, namely “positioning, ranking, and leaping forward”, through which individuals from privileged backgrounds benefit most from resources and opportunity stacking in elite education circle. Internship becomes the bridge between elite education circle and elite employment circle.

The second paper, titled “Global and local possible selves: Differentiated strategies for positional competition among Chinese university students”, develops a neo-Weberian reading of involution to construct a framework using positional conflict theory and the concept of ‘possible selves’. It investigates how final-year university students from three social class factions—rural, urban non-elite and urban elite—envisage, plan and strategies for their future careers. This study demonstrates how social class is deeply connected to the scale of the competition—national or global—that students perceive themselves to be implicated in.

Presenters will be Po YANG, Zhitang LIANG and Benjamin Mulvey, while Ewan Wright will be a discussant.

This webinar is part of the free public seminar programme hosted by the Centre for Global Higher Education (CGHE).

“The university is of the people, not the government,” was the leading cry of student protests in Ecuador a decade ago against the education policies of the then “progressive” state. “What people?” some asked, when higher education remains a primarily white-whitened enterprise with a clearly male ethos. With what and whose knowledges? And knowledges for what? Knowledge allied with the interests of capital and the project and logic of global coloniality? Or, as many in the region argue, knowledge of and for life?

While such questions are pertinent today in many regions of the globe, they are particularly so in Latin America where coloniality took form 530 years ago and continues its configurations, most especially in these times of pandemics in which COVID, systemic racism, gendered violence, and increased impoverishment, most especially for Black and Indigenous urban and rural communities, intertwine.

This talk takes root in this reality, asking not so much about the large-scale transformation of higher education in Latin America – a practically impossible task – but more crucially about the decolonial fissures and cracks present and emergent. The cracks, as I will argue here, are not the solution but the possibility; spaces where epistemic interculturalizations, decolonizations, and pluriversalizations can and do occur.

About the CGHE webinar series on higher education and knowledge in Latin America past, present and future

Latin American countries and their universities share a common historical legacy although each national systems in the region exhibits its own particularities and richness. The first universities in Latin America were established half a century after Columbus landed in the Americas in 1492. Since then, thousands of universities have opened, evolved or disappeared in response to national developments and needs, and global trends.

A key feature that characterises Latin American universities is their autonomy. During colonial times, universities progressively gained autonomy from the Catholic church. After independence the universities were intent on supporting nation building and focused on professional training but during the first three decades of the nineteenth century, the Cordoba movement in Argentina had a significant role in reasserting university autonomy across the region. It promoted both university self-governance and wider participation. Students pursued the modernisation of universities within larger agendas of democracy, academic freedom and social responsibility.

Between the 1970s and the 1990s Latin American Universities and academics were repressed and punished by military dictatorships. They also experienced massification and recurring financial crises, trends that continued after the 1990s, and a growing emphasis on evaluation and accreditation.

Latin American universities, like many universities around the world, are now shaped by internationalisation, privatisation and marketisation trends. They still need to defend and advance their autonomy. They also need to improve their research and knowledge production while helping to advance social changes and a more equal society. Many Latin American universities have been working on agendas of widening participation and inclusivity. They have also been wrestling with their colonial past, which has continuing implications for the review and transformation of their local, national and global roles. The role of intercultural universities in decolonising the curriculum has been an important development.

In this CGHE webinar series the speakers and participant audiences will examine key challenges for Latin American higher education. While reviewing the past and investigating the present, the webinars highlight crucial aspects of higher education in the region that provide insights into the future. The first webinar on 30 June discusses political and economic aspects of higher education reforms in Latin America. The second webinar on 5 July considers the impact of university rankings and the concept of ‘world class universities’ on the institutions and in academic careers, and the implications for regional university autonomy and development. The third webinar on 7 July dissects internationalisation and student mobility in and beyond the region. The final webinar in the series on 12 July tackles the big underlying issue of the past, present and future, the decolonisation of universities and knowledge in Latin America and the role of intercultural education as a strategy of decolonisation.

The series is organised by Martin Benavides Abanto from Peru, Carolina Guzmán-Valenzuela of Chile and CGHE’s Simon Marginson, with the help of CGHE Director of Communications Trevor Treharne and colleagues throughout the region.

You need to register individually for each webinar in the series. You can register for the other webinars in the series here.