Panel session: Dragon's den
Dragon's DenThree pitches for investment in innovative, radical approaches, followed by round table...
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5 February 2010
Three pitches for investment in innovative, radical approaches, followed by round table discussion and final vote.
Chaired by Professor Sir Tim O'Shea, Edinburgh University and Chair of JISC
- 'If you were on the receiving end of this pitch, how would you respond?', 'What, if anything, could you take from this pitch to your own institution?' Final ten minutes for voting and any final comment from Dragons, Chair and/or successful 'pitcher'.
The Dragons: Wes Streeting, National Union of Students, Dr Diana Oblinger, EDUCAUSE, Inderjit Seerha, University of Cambridge, Professor Dame Joan Stringer, Edinburgh Napier University
The Pitchers: Professor Nigel Seaton, University of Surrey; Professor Geoffrey Crossick, Goldsmiths, University of London Professor José Chambers, University of Winchester
Geoff Crossick's pitch:
PItching for medium sized research-intensive Uni - proposal for a Heideggar centre: starting with common misconceptions about research
Will abolish barriers between STEM and other disciplines
Real interdisciplinarity - realigned
Open collaborative space - benefits from reputation - will grasp future of research
The H centre will be a space for interactions - messy but well equipped - encounters between people.
People will bid for time to be in it - PG students etc. Need a clear definition of what they want to do, must have external players - always 5 or 6 projects
Will be off-campus - new ideas and possibilities
Once you've got a grant can't be in it any longer- put money back
Not shaping Knowledge and selling it - turning people into co-producers of Knowledge
Will it work - it's risky but not costly - wil be exciting -
'realign objects on either side of the bridge'
14:43 on 11 February 2010 (Edited 14:55 on 11 February 2010)
Nigel Seaton's pitch:
Uni of Poppleton - aspiring research-led - currently offer 3-year degrees - students get a degree & summer jobs - only 1 year & 3 months learning in company of Uni faculty!
Propose better value & life chances for students. Don't aspire to 2-year degrees but better integration of academic and work-based learning. Propose activity that runs for 45 weeks per year.
Want to prepare students for world of work & escape from 'agriculutural' calendar (don't need to take in the harvest).
45 weeks campus-based then apply learning in setting, followed by more campus-based then research (or other open-ended) project.
Benefits: more experience for students, more value for money, efficiency gains, better utilisation of space.
This is not inconsistent with research mission - will have to manage teaching in more effcient way. Important that new initiative for £500m development should respond.
14:53 on 11 February 2010 (Edited 14:54 on 11 February 2010)
Jose Chambers' pitch:
Modest proposal - may be out of tune with hard times..
Relies on concept of 'thick proximity' rather than virtual contact.
Barchester University - (cathedrals university) - been under scrutiny for 10 years, been shortlisted for uni of the year - a Times higher 'rising star' - but we are exhausted.
All efforts put student at heart of things - award winning students centre with a 'learning cafe' - closed staff common room to convert to 1-stop shop for students - now no social space for staff, except for small dark room.
90% of staff still say they like working at B. Part of HEFCE wellbeing in HE project.
Pitch is for investing in providing space for 'serendipity of interaction' - where all staff can meet and grimble, complain, challenge and learn how to be agile. The 'well' university is not amount becoming resilient, but where there is space for all learners - students and staff - to live the life of the mind.
£100k would meet it - convert the dim dark space to somewhere where staff can delight.
15:04 on 11 February 2010
The Panel discussion:
Like the concept of bringing staff together - being creative & agile means somewhere for it to take place.
This is the time we need to think about investing in staff - we are a people business.
Poppleton proposal is innovative - motivating for students, link to industry
Heidegger Centre is appealing - simplicity of bringing lots of different kinds of organisations into interaction with HE
15:12 on 11 February 2010
3-year placement experience: 11
Staff comfy room: 3
Geoff Crossick wins!
15:23 on 11 February 2010