HERE Study Visit “Learning and teaching: Professional development of staff in higher education” with support of the SPHERE, EACEA (3-4.09.28, London, the UK)
Title: HERE Study Visit “Learning and teaching: Professional development of staff in higher education” with support of the SPHERE, EACEA
Date: 3-4 September 2018
Location: King’s College London and London School of Economics and Political Science, UK
Participants: HERE, EU University staff. In total, experts from 17 countries took part in the event.
Participants from Ukraine:
1. Svitlana KALASHNIKOVA, Director, Institute of Higher Education, NAES of Ukraine, HERE;
2. Volodymyr LUGOVYY, First Vice-President, National Academy of Educational Sciences of Ukraine, HERE.
Programme and materials: https://supporthere.org/london2018; http://supporthere.org/event/here-study-visit-learning-and-teaching
DESCRIPTION AND KEY INFORMATION
Objectives. To study the achievements in the professional development of University teachers; to understand the external and internal conditions under which the University centers of professional development work; to identify professional development in terms of providing and improving quality; to explore how promising the College and the School practices can be transferred to other national and institutional contexts.
The training of participants took the form of six plenary sessions and eight working groups. At the first plenary session, the participants were acquainted with the missions in detail as the system-forming factors of the King’s College London and the London School of Economics and Political Science, orienting institutions for world leadership, excellent learning and teaching as well as research.
The second plenary session was devoted to the development and implementation of academic practice: academic development through the introduction for new academic position, qualifications, programmes. Presentations included a description of the services provided by the centers for faculty improvement, mission and methodology; personnel development programmes external accredited or internally validated; target audiences: new staff, department heads, assistants for postgraduate and postgraduate courses (postdoctoral students, etc.). The plenary discussion included the issues: what programmes and services are provided in institutions in different countries, and which of the College and the School suggestions seem to be similar or applicable in national contexts?
The third plenary session considered the formation and implementation of academic practice, the development of programmes, accompanied by comments by participants and their mini-discussions in small situational groups on the issues: What components and / or approaches of the presented programmes would be suitable for University teachers in the national environment?
Special attention was paid to the fourth and fifth plenary sessions. The first of these was about the development and implementation of academic practice in higher education based on research. Tests were made of both the use of research methodology in major programmes and the inclusion of teaching courses to doctoral programs, as well as the extent to which a high level research informationally saturated Bachelor’s programs (content, specialized equipment, academic staff). The second of these sessions concerned the provision and improvement of quality. The role of national quality assurance in institutional practice, the process of internal review, good practice in conducting annual monitoring, external expertise, student assessment, periodic review, quality assurance procedures for new programs, modules or courses were discussed.
At this session, Svitlana Kalashnikov presented national case and she focused on the general characteristics of the higher education in Ukraine, the new Law of Ukraine “On Higher Education” (2014), the state of creation of the national quality assurance system, the professional development of University staff, the formation of a network of QA experts and other components of achieving the competitive higher education quality in Ukraine.
Issues were also discussed within thematic groups. In particular, on the topic of parity between teaching and research, it was debated whether it is desirable and feasible to find out what the main benefits and limitations at the institutional level, what are the conclusions for national politicians? On the subject of starting positions, it became clear what messages and what should be addressed to their countries, to decision makers of the national educational policy, as well as what initial ideas, facts, practices on the results of the Study visit should be considered at the level of institutions.
THE LEARNING OUTCOMES OF THE HERE SEMINAR AND CONCLUSIONS AND SUGGESTIONS / RECOMMENDATIONS FOR UKRAINE
1. Materials of HERE international events are very useful for national higher education sphere. Within the framework of the SPHERE project, seminars and study visits on topical university issues are systematically conducted in accordance with world trends. Leading Universities of the world are selected for study visits, and seminars are organized on the basis of progressive institutions. For example, last May, an educational event “Teaching on research: universities, entrepreneurship and knowledge triangle” took place at the University of Milan, which now leads the University ranking in Italy (this was published by Pedagogical Newspaper in No. 5, 2017). In May 2018, the seminar was held at the University of Montenegro – the only national classical public University – on the topic “Based on teaching and learning research: from national and institutional policy to practice”, where Volodymyr Lugovyy presentated “Overcoming the gap between teaching and research activity: Ukraine’s experience” (it was published by the Pedagogical newspaper in the number 3 for 2018).
2. An important component of the higher education quality assurance system is the development and improvement of teachers’ competences, therefore, the actual objective for Ukrainian higher education institutions is to set up centers for the improvement of University teachers, the development of modern methodologies and the introduction of appropriate services, professional development programs for various target groups: new staff, heads of departments, assistants, postdoctorates, etc.
4. It is important to create the appropriate conditions for the professional development of University teachers, in particular, to increase the time provided for research, by reducing the number of contact hours in conjunction with measures of material incentives.