Prizes awarded at Learning and Teaching Exhibition 2007/08
16 January 2008
At the University's annual Learning and Teaching Exhibition, prizes were awarded to members of academic and support staff in recognition of their efforts in supporting the student learning experience.
Organised by the newly formed Education Support Unit, the event included an exhibition of innovative learning and teaching practice from across the faculties, a series of short talks on recent developments in learning and teaching, and a keynote presentation, ‘The Inner Game of Higher Education’, given by Professor Sir David Watson, Chair of Higher Education Management at the University of London’s Institute of Education.
Professor Watson’s insightful presentation on current trends in UK higher education was based on his experiences as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Brighton and member of the National Committee of Inquiry into Higher Education (the Dearing Committee) among others.
He began with some positive remarks about Bristol’s students and emphasised how important it is that the sector continues to trust students to choose their institution and programme wisely, rather than trying to micro-manage their choices. He pointed out some interesting changes in the volume of student enrolments in different subjects between 1996-7 and 2005-06, including large increases in mass communications and documentation (including media studies) and in subjects allied to medicine. Some of the changes in subject choice, he said, were linked to career opportunities. The average age of academic staff in UK higher education is dropping (the current figure being around 42) – a positive development given the potential for ‘generational tensions’ because of changes in technology and the ways in which students access information. Summing up, Professor Watson described teaching in higher education as a ‘sophisticated craft’, an ‘evolving conversation between more and less experienced learners’and a profession that is still highly satisfying across different types of institution.
The texts of Professor Watson’s presentation and the short talks given during the day, along with photographs from the event, are also available online.