Centre for Higher Education and Equity Research (CHEER)

Events Archive: 2016/17

Date: 19 September 2017  
Time: 10am-4.30pm
Venue: Gardner Tower, Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts
Speakers: Confirmed Sussex speakers include Professor Andrea Cornwall (Anthropology/International Development), Dr Charlotte Morris (CHEER, Education/Law, Politics & Sociology) and Dr Liz Sage (ADQE). 

Teaching in Turbulent Times: Challenges and Responses

Sponsored by CHEER, Academic Development and Quality Enhancement (ADQE), Centre for Gender Studies and School of Global Studies

How do we teach in a climate shaped by polarised politics and seismic shifts in social and educational landscapes?

Over the past year, colleagues from across Sussex and Brighton universities have met to consider precisely this. Through seminars and discussions, we’ve considered what it is to teach in a context in which Brexit and Trump have become political realities, where our own practices as an academy are under scrutiny as never before, and what role education has to play in a world characterised by ‘fake news’, ‘post-truth’ and tangible human crises.

This one-day workshop was an opportunity to bring these varied discussions together and consider how we can respond - as individual teachers and as an HE community - to the challenges our students, colleagues and Higher Education at large faces. Through a combination of open forums, invited speakers and inventive workshops, experiences were shared of these challenges and how they have been negotiated. Also considered was what could be done differently in HE if we were given the chance to re-write the rules – ideas which will then contribute to a larger project in re-imaging a university education.

Themes covered included:

  • The increase of racism/xenophobia/Islamophobia and its impact on students and staff
  • Fostering critical thinking in students
  • Encouraging students to engage with a diverse community – locally and globally
  • The growing impact of poor mental health and well-being
  • Managing a politically diverse classroom
  • Supporting students and colleagues in a discriminatory climate
  • Decolonising the curriculum – what does this mean in practice?
  • What scope is there for promoting social justice, equity and diversity through the curriculum?
  • Working with power dynamics in the classroom
  • Feminist/post-colonial/ queer pedagogies
  • How do we put theory and good intentions into practice? 


Date: 19 July 2017       
Time: 9.30am-4pm    
Venue: Gardner Tower, Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts, University of Sussex  
Speakers: Details below

Disrupting Internationalisation Discourses: Discussing Equity and Inclusion

This seminar drew together international expertise to re-think and challenge existing research on higher education and internationalisation by highlighting the importance of debates about equity and inclusion.

Keynote speakers included: 
Professor Sue Webb, Monash University, Australia / Dr Linda Morrice, University of Sussex / Dr Terri Kim, University of East London / Lee Rensimer, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Plus presentations from visiting Roma scholars

Promo poster: Disrupting Internationalisation Discourses: event poster [PDF 204.87KB]


Date: 6 July 2017       
Room 103, Arts A
Jennifer Jomafuvwe Agbaire, Doctoral researcher, PhD in Education 

Access to University in Nigeria: Exploring the Impact of Admission Policy and Practices

Jennifer AgbaireThe focus of my research is the highly complex admissions system through which students are recruited to higher education in Nigeria. The quota-based system emphasises academic merit (demonstrated through a series of tests) and considers applicants’ place of origin, whilst notably excluding gender and socio-economic status which are linked to widening inequalities in university access across the country.

Using focus groups and semi-structured interviews, I explore tensions arising from admissions policy and practices through the experiences of current and aspiring students, as well as admissions staff. I seek to understand the impact of the admission system on inclusion, and how individual or collective socio-ethnic characteristics influence construction of meaning around the concept of equity in access to higher education.

Promo: CHEER Research-in-Progress Seminar: 6july2017 [PDF 177.64KB]


Date: 1 June 2017      
Time: 11am-12.30pm   
Venue: Room 104, Fulton  
Speaker: Dr Suanne Gibson, Associate Professor (Senior Lecturer) in Education, Plymouth Institute of Education (Faculty of Arts & Humanities), Plymouth University

When Rights Are Not Enough, What Is? The Need for 'Politicised' Compassion in the Quest for Social Justice

Dr Suanne GibsonThis seminar addresses and aims to unpack ideas around ’politicised compassion’. In particular, Suanne calls for the need to move on from worn out ineffective forms of ’Widening Participation practices’, which serve to re-produce outsiders and established insiders. Connecting to concerns and questions raised by right wing swing and growth in the West, aka Trump-Ville and BREXIT, Suanne aims to consider the ’where next’ in terms of democratic, inclusive and socially just education and society. Drawing on her research in this field, she will invite you to consider her work alongside your own and ideally to work together unpacking ‘politicised compassion’ –how we might connect, respond and move forward in our thinking plus practices.

Dr Gibson's specialist areas of teaching and research are ‘disability’, ‘special educational needs’ (SEN), ‘inclusion’ and critical pedagogy.

Seminar promo: CHEER seminar promo: 1june2017 [PDF 141.40KB]

Seminar presentation: Dr Suanne Gibson: Moving Towards 'Politicised' Compassion in the Quest for Social Justice [PPTX 119.42KB]

Apologies for the quality of audio on this session


Date: 14 March 2017     
Time: 1-2pm   
Venue: Room G31, Jubilee Building, University of Sussex  
Speaker: Daniel Leyton, Doctoral researcher, PhD in Education

Widening Participation to Higher Education in Chile

Daniel LeytonDaniel’s research focuses on the relationship between widening participation policies, and the experiences and subjectivities of working-class students in Chilean higher education.

Drawing on policy narratives and interviews with university students, Daniel explores how the students experience the demands/incitements of the educational policy discourses and practices embedded in a higher education space for which multiple inequalities and misrecognitions abound.

His research also tackles the emotions involved in coping and contesting inequalities, and how the students’ participation in higher education challenges or transforms their identities - and relationships with their families and others.

In this presentation Daniel will explore some of his research findings, focusing on how global concerns with educational inclusion produce specific ‘desirable’ subjectivities for the students who are ‘included’.

Promo: CHEER Research-in-Progress Seminar: 14march2017 [PDF 206.32KB]


Date: 6 March 2017    
Time: 12.30-2pm     
Venue: Room 104, Fulton    
Speaker: Dr Juliet Milican, Deputy Director of the Community University Partnership Programme (CUPP), University of Brighton

The Role of Universities in Conflict, Peace and Resistance

Dr Juliet MilicanDr Milican’s work encompasses the social responsibility of higher education institutions and different forms of university, student and community engagement. Her recent research applies this thinking to situations of conflict, post-conflict and peacebuilding.

In this seminar, Dr MIlican will share findings from her forthcoming book: ‘The Role of Universities in Conflict, Peace and Resistance’, which includes case studies from Bosnia, Belfast, Palestine, Serbia, Myanmar, and Bradford. She will also outline her current and future research on this topic with universities in Ethiopia and Eritrea.

Dr Milican will make links to a broader literature on higher education, peacebuilding and the international dimensions of engagement to explore the contribution that higher education might make to the development of citizenship and civic responsibility in a society recovering from conflict.

Seminar promo: CHEER Seminar Promo: 6march2017 [PDF 142.60KB] 
Seminar presentation: Dr Juliet Milican: The Role of Higher Education in Conflict, Post-conflict or Occupation [PPTX 250.37KB]


Date: 27/28 February 2017    
Venue: Bramber House Conference Centre, University of Sussex 

Current Challenges/Desired Futures for Higher Education in Japan and the UK

Current Challenges/Desired Futures promo posterA two-day seminar which is part of a research partnership between the University of Sussex (UK), and the Research Institute of Japan, UK and Europe (RIJUE) based at the University of Hiroshima, Japan.

Keynote presentations include:

  • Dr Fumi Kitagawa, University of Edinburgh  
    Whither or Wither Universities? Perspectives from the UK and Japan
  • Professor Rosemary Deem, Royal Holloway College, University of London  
    Trends and Developments in Doctoral Education

Presentations from researchers at the Universities of Sussex  
and Hiroshima include:

  • Innovations and challenges in teaching and learning
  • Comparative contexts in doctoral education
  • Internationalisation and mobility
  • Equity and access to higher education

See the full programme along with photographs and recordings of presentations on the symposium web page.


Date: 27 February 2017  
Time: 5-6.30pm   
Venue: Meeting Rooms 3/4, Bramber House Conference Centre, University of Sussex 
Speaker: Professor Rosemary Deem, Royal Holloway and Bedford New College - University of London & Chair of the UK Council for Graduate Education 

Trends and Developments in Doctoral Education

Professor Rosemary DeemAs doctoral education continues to evolve worldwide, developments in it reflect wider changes in universities as ‘managed’ organisations and in academic work, including casualization, new managerialism and leaderism, collectivisation and specialisation, as well as speed-up. This is alongside the existence of several different systems for doctoral education. Despite growth in numbers, doctorates still remain somewhat exclusive; social class, ethnicity and gender still shape entry, and may also influence what is studied and how it is valued. Other challenges are posed by thesis format, pedagogies, assessment and employability. Organisational changes are also evident. Greater collaboration on doctoral education within and across universities and countries is fostering new types of research cultures.  But at the same time, some institutions may be starting  to ‘unbundle’ or reassemble the doctorate; can it survive unscathed? 

Seminar promo: CHEER seminar promo: 27feb2017 [PDF 121.90KB] 
Seminar Presentation: Trends and Development in Doctoral Education [PPTX 3.70MB]


Date: 31 October 2016  
Time: 5-6.30pm   
Venue: Room 118, Jubilee 
Speaker: Professor Miriam David, University College London, Institute of Education, UK

Misogyny in Higher Education

Professor Miriam David presents seminarProfessor David presented the theme of her two complementary books that have recently been published:  
Reclaiming Feminism: Challenging Everyday Misogyny (Bristol: Policy Press, 2016) is her memoir of being an academic and activist. She reflected on changes in the global, neo-liberal academy and how feminism is now everywhere and nowhere influential. She focused especially on recent changes on campus, about sexual abuse and harassment.  
A Feminist Manifesto for Education (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2016)  focused on her EU-funded research on sexual violence in the context of changing international policies and practices. How to educate and train professionals within higher education to challenge gender-related violence amongst children and young people was the key focus. What did this tell us about transforming sex and relationships education for the future? 

Seminar promo: CHEER seminar promo: 31oct2016 [PDF 136.47KB]   

Seminar presentation: Professor Miriam David: Misogyny in Higher Education [PPTX 50.09MB]

Professor Miriam David visits CHEER