Bradford College HE Conference 2013: Scholarship and the Pedagogical Effectiveness of Staff

Professor Craig Mahoney

Bradford College hosted a highly successful day long conference on the 8th July 2013, which was attended by over 200 delegates to explore the theme of Scholarship and the Pedagogical Effectiveness of Staff.

 “Scholarly activity and Research is a key priority for the College. It encourages and supports staff to engage with a thriving academic community and embrace the professionalisation agenda.”

 Kath Oldale, Bradford College Principal

A Kath Oldale, Bradford College Principalddressing the conference, keynote presenter and leading academic, Professor Craig Mahoney outlined how the expectations on staff delivering Higher Education in our college and university system are elevating. Delegates heard how some of these changes have arisen from the 2010 Higher Education White Paper, which enabled institutions delivering Higher Education in England to charge students up to £9000 per annum.

Nick Davy, HE Policy Manager for the Association of Colleges (AoC), Professor Craig Mahoney, Chief Executive of Higher Education Academy (HEA) and the newly appointed Principal and Vice-Chancellor at the University of the West of Scotland told conference delegates: “Pressures have arisen from a stronger student voice, demanding value for money, public rhetoric on topics such as ‘information’, contact hours and employability, and a minister who has demanded students should be at the ‘heart of the system’. This has led to an unstructured review of the role of the academic in Higher Education and posed questions on the varying importance of subject specialism, scholarly engagement, research outputs, continued professional development and teaching competence.”

A packed audience heard speakers explore the powerful theme of ‘Scholarship and the Pedagogical Effectiveness of Staff’ from a range of perspectives. Speakers included Kath Oldale, Principal of Bradford College, who delivered a thought provoking presentation on TDAP; David Smith, Dean of Higher Education at Bradford College gave a highly engaging presentation on Workload Modelling and Clare Hallows, HE Registrar at Bradford College delivered an informative presentation on Scholarly Activity.

Delegates also heard an address from guest speaker Nick Davy, HE Policy Manager for the Association of Colleges (AoC), who presented the view that the Scholarly Activity, which takes place in many Further Education Colleges throughout the country, is of a high quality and covers a wider range of activities than is generally supposed.  Nick Davy used the work of Ernest Boyer to provide a theoretical underpinning to his presentation.

Clare HallowsDavid Smith, Dean of Higher EducationSpeaker Kath Oldale, Principal of Bradford College addressing the conference said: “Scholarly activity and Research is a key priority for the College. It encourages and supports staff to engage with a thriving academic community and embrace the professionalisation agenda.” 

David Smith, Dean of Higher Education, speaking at the event outlined how a workload model, “would capture the diverse forms of scholarship and professional activity undertaken by teaching staff and facilitate innovative new forms of disciplinary-based research and scholarship.” The model sits alongside the new academic contract and is designed to facilitate genuine dialogue between curriculum managers and their staff.