University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) has put the spotlight on the close relationship that exists between research and teaching in Higher Education at a 3 day Wales NEXUS Conference 2017.
The event, which took place at Swansea’s Dylan Thomas Centre from the 3rd – 5th of May, was chaired by Professor Simon Haslett and aimed to provide a platform to further develop those links. Professor Haslett is Pro Vice-Chancellor at UWTSD and the University of Wales with responsibility for International and Enhancement activities across both institutions.
Linkages between research and teaching are defined broadly to include the scholarship of learning and teaching, research-informed teaching, and the research-teaching nexus. The NEXUS integrated subject- and multidiscipline-based research with curriculum, teaching and learning, and the conference featured a range of contributions that share contemporary thinking and approaches in learning and teaching.
The Conference comprised keynote talks and symposia, made up of presentations and workshops, and offered valuable insights into a range of topical issues in learning and teaching in higher education.
Keynote Speakers included Dr Colin Jones from Queensland University of Technology, whose presentation was entitled, ‘Beyond Endless Optimism : Educating the Uneducated and UWTSD’s Dr Jane Waters, Assistant Dean Research and Knowledge Transfer and Dr Jan Barnes, Programme Director of UWTSD’s Faculty of Education and Communities, who spoke about, ‘Assessing fitness for the future : the case of Initial Teacher Education. Dr Paul Jeff, Director of Research Degrees at UWTSD’s Faculty of Art and Design, Senior lecturer James Williams, Chris House, Associate Professor, and Dr Nick Whitehead, of the University’s Faculty of Architecture, Computing and Engineering were also amongst those who also took part.
Following the conference, a comprehensive resource will be collated and made available through UWTSD’s website as a permanent legacy. This is in addition to a published Conference Proceedings to which all delegates, have been invited to submit a contribution.
Professor Haslett said: “As someone who is passionate about learning and teaching, as well as research, it was a great privilege for me to Chair the Conference. It brought together staff from across the Higher Education sector in Wales and internationally, and also featured presentations by students. To me a university is a community made up of its staff and students, and this Conference showed what a vibrant community UWTSD is when it comes together to focus on such exciting educational themes and pedagogical innovations.”
Professor Andy Penlauna added: “As Chair of the UWTSD Enterprise day my mind was buzzing. Colin Jones from Brisbane is one of IICED’s visiting Professors and always gets us thinking. His idea of us all becoming ‘Reasonable Adventurers’ really hits the mark, simply because we sometimes have to act promptly to get ahead in life. In the next 10 years 75 per cent of the global workforce will be what we call ‘Millennials’, people who have grown up in a world of the internet… and technology that never stays still. They think and communicate differently to older generations and Jenny Williams helped us to see the impact this may have on what we do in education. It’s great that UWTSD events like this really help us to future proof what we do for our students.”
UWTSD PGCE/PCET student Carl Singleton who attended the conference, said: “As an aspiring teacher, I found the Nexus Conference invaluable. It provided an essential overview of current thinking and initiatives within education, as well as an insight into the most up to date teaching and learning strategies. It was also an ideal networking opportunity. I feel that I benefitted significantly.”
The videos and power point presentations from the Wales NEXUS Conference 2017 are now available at http://www.uwtsd.ac.uk/wales-nexus-conference-2017/abstracts-/