Centre for Higher Education and Equity Research (CHEER)

Symposium: Feb 2017

27-28 February 2017
Conference Centre, Bramber House, University of Sussex, UK

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


Monday 27 February




Welcome and Introduction: Professor Louise Morley, Director of CHEER, University of Sussex, UK


Dr Fumi Kitagawa presentsKeynote Presentation: Dr Fumi Kitagawa, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK 
Whither or Wither the Higher Education? Challenges faced by the higher education systems in the UK and Japan [PDF 845.50KB]
Significant changes have happened in the delivery of teaching and research in higher education, both in Japan and in the UK over the last two decades. These are shaped by a complex set of interplays between governments and higher education institutions, often influenced by other external factors. This paper will identify key challenges and inherent tensions faced by the higher education sector and the state in the two countries. It will ask: What are the similarities, and differences? How have the two systems coped with the diversity and dynamism of institutions, students and stakeholders? What lessons can we learn from each other?


Professor Yumiko Hada (Hiroshima University, Japan) with Professor John Pryor (University of Sussex, UK)1. Introduction to the Research Institute for Japan, the UK and Europe (RIJUE) [PPT 3.29MB]
2. UK University Governance Forms and New Classification [PPTX 699.31KB]
Professor Yumiko Hada, Hiroshima University, Japan




Panel Presentations: Innovations and Challenges in Higher Education Teaching and Learning in the UK

Dr Emily Danvers presentsDr Emily Danvers
Critical Thinking and the Student Voice: Speaking Up and Speaking Back [PPTX 1.66MB] 
While critical thinking is very much ‘part of the furniture’ in the teaching and learning landscape of higher education, what it means to be a critical student in the UK is complex, contextual and highly problematic to capture. In particular, it interacts and challenges other policy incentives such as student voice and student engagement, which arguably require students to simultaneously engage with and speak up (rather than to speak back to) the academy and its practices. This paper will explore the key policy frameworks shaping the construction of the student critical thinker in the UK. It then asks whether the UK Teaching Excellence Framework's vocabulary shift to focus on fostering ‘original’ (rather than critical) thinking potentially domesticates the student critical thinker by focusing on the production of the ‘new’ rather than the critique of ‘what is’. 

Dr Simon Thompson presentsDr Simon Thompson
The Trouble with TEF: Problems and Possibilities in Enhancing the Quality of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education [PPTX 14.60MB]
The teaching excellence framework (TEF) is a Government initiative designed to monitor and assess the quality of teaching in England’s universities. Dr Thompson will identify the potential implications of the TEF in conceptualising and ensuring excellence in teaching and learning in the UK academy and signal ways in which it presents a number of challenges and opportunities to the sector. Alternative ways in which academics can secure, promote and enhance high quality teaching and learning for diverse student populations will also be explored.  




Discussion: Challenges and Desired Futures in UK and Japanese Higher Education
Chair: Professor Louise Morley, CHEER, University of Sussex, UK


Dr Barbara Crossouard (University of Sussex) with Professor Rosemary Deem (University of London)Keynote Presentation: Professor Rosemary Deem, Royal Holloway College - University of London, UK 
Trends and Development in Doctoral Education [PPTX 3.70MB]
As 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?

Chair: Dr Barbara Crossouard, University of Sussex, UK
Respondent: Professor John Pryor, University of Sussex, UK

Tuesday 28 February


Workshop: Comparative Understandings of Teaching and Learning in the UK and Japan: Student’s Perspectives
Chair: Dr Emily Danvers, CHEER, University of Sussex




Panel Presentations: Newer Researchers Interrogate the Neoliberal University

Daniel Leyton presentsDaniel Leyton, University of Sussex, UK
Desirable Subjectivities in Chilean Widening Participation Policy in Higher Education [PPTX 510.08KB]
Within the context of the contested landscape of widening participation policies in neoliberal Chilean higher education, I will draw on a specific affirmative action policy known as ‘Induction Access Programmes’ aiming to restore the right to higher education for talented students from vulnerable sectors by securing them places in universities and supporting them in this transition. Starting by unpacking on what a desirable subjectivity may mean in this context, I will present an analysis of the policy narratives depicting the main subjective features these students must have according to the policy ambitions these programmes entail. In order to further complicate the assumptions and limits of the desirable subjectivities promoted by these programmes I will analyse some of the working class students’ own narrated experiences under these programmes and while at the university pointing out some of the policy contradictions, ambivalence and opportunities these students’ experiences reveal.

Paul Roberts presentsPaul Roberts, University of Sussex, UK
Captured Minds? Graduate School Managers and the UK Doctorate [PPTX 3.91MB]
The neo-liberal university in the UK has responded to changes in the UK Doctorate by creating Graduate Schools, whose numbers rose from 67% in 2004 to 76% in 2009 (Denicolo, Fuller & Berry, 2010). Drawing on theorisations from Wendy Brown (2015) and a series of qualitative interviews, this presentation will discuss initial findings of how Graduate School Managers ‘maximise their capital value in the present and enhance their future value’ (Brown 2015:22) through practice. It will ask to what extent the values of neoliberalism have been internalised by Graduate School Managers and seek to identify moments of resistance.  Can Graduate School Managers, often depicted as the ‘agents’ of neoliberalism, also be seen as participants in questioning and critiquing and even sharing in some of its discomforts…or are they captured minds?

Tanja Jovanovic presentsTanja Jovanovic, University of Sussex, UK 
Widening Access of Roma in the Global Knowledge Economy: The Case of Serbia
Social exclusion, economic marginalisation and poor educational opportunities experienced by the Roma minority in Serbia suggest a further level of exclusion from 'the global knowledge economy’ (Morley 2013). According to Roberts, the shift towards knowledge is a key economic resource. However, "there are some regions of the world that are so poor that their ability to participate in a global knowledge economy is very limited" (2009). Furthermore, the efforts of those suffering economic exclusion to interact with 'the global knowledge economy’ are often frustrated by ‘the strategies of knowledge accumulation pursued by corporations in the advanced world’ (Roberts 2009: 299). In the light of this, there is an overwhelming case for the educational inclusion - in terms of full equality of opportunity - for Serbian’s Roma minority. Even the financially driven perspective of the World Bank suggests the importance of widening participation of Roma students in Serbian education as a key policy objective in neoliberal society - for the benefit of Serbia and the EU’s economic development, social justice and stability. 
Utilising findings from life history interviews with Roma students in Serbia, this presentation explores how the socio-cultural practices of these students influence their access to higher education. It highlights the importance of widening participation of Roma in higher education as an integral element in improving Roma people’s welfare and social mobility (Morley et al, 2010). 




Panel Presentations: Internationalisation and Equity

Dr Ryo Sasaki presentsDr Ryo Sasaki, Hiroshima University, Japan 
Access to Higher Education and the Right to Education in Japanese Law [PPTX 98.60KB]
This presentation aims to identify the status of higher education in regard to the right to education under Japanese educational law and international human rights treaties which Japan has ratified. In spite of numerous studies on the right to education, most of them focus on compulsory, mainly primary and secondary, rather than higher education. As it is/shall not be compulsory, equal and fair access to higher education, rather than universalisation, can be emphasised from the perspective of having the right to education. Consequently, this presentation emphasises the need to consider the specific features higher education offers within such a context.

Dr Yuki YamaguchiDr Yuki Yamaguchi, Hiroshima University, Japan
International Mobility and Tensions [PPTX 664.29KB]
The recent trend of globalization has affected higher education systems. In Europe, the Bologna Declaration has led to the emergence of the European Higher Education Area that enables students to benefit from study-abroad programmes and credit transfer systems. Assessment of Higher Education Learning Outcomes (Tuning-AHELO) project aimed to re-design, develop, implement, evaluate, and enhance the quality of programmes of higher education institutions. In 2016, Measuring and Comparing Achievements of Learning Outcomes in Higher Education in Europe (Tuning-CALOHEE), a project succeeding Tuning-AHELO, was started. This project currently promotes innovation and mutual understanding across political and economic systems and cultural differences. However, this fostering of commensurability is likely to be accompanied by economic and emotional tensions. Why do these tensions occur and what defines this phenomena? The purpose of this study is to investigate these projects from political and economic perspectives. The study uses the concept of ‘economy’ that originally related to home economics and was later applied to the socio-economic phenomena infiltrating modern nations’ systems, including higher education systems. This concept could enable the present study to explain the current trend as the point of convergence of different economies of higher education systems.




Workshop: Identifying a Research Agenda for Exploring Higher Education in the UK and Japan - Summing up and Moving Forward
Chair: Professor Louise Morley, CHEER, University of Sussex & Professor Yumiko Hada, Hiroshima University