Master’s students share education research at international conference

Delegates at the International Master’s in Education Student Conference at Bradford College.Photo by Michael Tipping

Master’s students at Bradford College were joined by students from the Netherlands to discuss a range of educational matters at the first International Master’s in Education Student Conference staged by the college.

The inaugural event brought together students on master’s degree courses in education at Bradford College’s McMillan Faculty of Education and their counterparts at Marnix Academy in Utrecht.

It provided an opportunity for the postgraduate students from the two institutions to showcase their research and their professional and academic journeys.

Marnix Academy and McMillan Faculty of Education formed a partnership two years ago when Katarzyna Kosel, course leader of the Master’s in Education (MEd) at Bradford College, visited Utrecht as part of the Erasmus programme and was struck by how much the master's courses and students had in common.

“The conference was a result of the Faculty and Marnix Academie's joint efforts to provide an avenue for student research dissemination and to promote the link between teaching and research,” explained Katarzyna Kosel.

“The aim was also to contribute to the internationalisation of master's level programmes at both institutions.

“This academic year we have been experimenting with the use of an online platform to share student research interests.

“Apart from encouraging students to engage with research, we wanted to enhance their cultural understanding of wider education and academic practices and give them a chance to develop the ever-important global awareness of and perspective on education. We are hoping that our partnership continues to grow.”

The conference was opened with a talk by the Head of the McMillan Faculty, David Howard, followed by presentations from the MEd International Orientation Programme Leader at the Marnix Academie, Dr Anne-Marie van Horst and the MEd Academic Programme Director, Dr Bas van de Berg. The presenters discussed the key themes of education leadership, innovation and internationalisation. 

Six students Marnix Academy who presented their research proposals. The McMillan Faculty of Education speakers were Jane Timms, Michael Tipping, Paul Colewood, Sean Smith and Jill Todd.

The presentations explored various aspects of teaching, learning and assessment in primary, secondary and post-compulsory education, inclusive practice, dual professionalism and teacher motivation and retention.

The conference was also attended by staff from other higher education departments at Bradford College.

Katarzyna Kosel, added: “We can certainly call our first international Masters in Education Student Conference a success.

“In the words of one of the participants, the presentations reflected the expertise, commitment and enthusiasm of our students.

“The colleagues from Marnix were impressed with the academic rigour that Bradford College MEd students demonstrated in the application of research methodologies and when conducting literature reviews.

“What was particularly interesting about the Dutch projects was the emphasis on school innovation and the positioning of the researchers as leaders of their learning communities.”