HeiNous Notebooks

Representation and Reading Lists

Scribbles in my HeiNous notebook, Friday 9th April 2021: observations and writing I have found interesting in the last week.

Happening, Reflecting

Callum Perry’s “Having a student rep in the room isn’t enough” should hopefully encourage some frank consideration of student partnership working. I’m sure many institutions will already have adopted some of the approaches suggested – there are some great models for genuine student engagement and partnerships out there – but at the very least it does make you wonder how frequently existing student representation roles and methods of engagement are reviewed. Having worked in universities before, during and after my time as a student representative, I can imagine how easy it is for student engagement mechanisms which worked so well one year to slip from ‘genuine dialogue’ to ‘box-ticking’. And, perhaps, we also need to address the fact that individuals on both side of the supposedly-round table can have a significant effect on successful partnership working, which can derail things.

I have to confess, I haven’t kept up with USS developments recently. I found this article on the USS Trustee’s governance crisis interesting, and followed it up with this article on the latest back and forth between key parties.

The New Power University by Jonathan Grant is on my reading list, though I still haven’t managed to get round to reading Anthony Seldon’s Fourth Education Revolution Reconsidered or Tom Vanderbilt’s Beginners: The Joy and Transformative Power of Lifelong Learning.

Leading, Managing

Pitched at those in academia, but this is relevant for any Higher Education managers (or anyone in Higher Education, in fact): Time to Refocus. I’d be surprised if that first paragraph doesn’t resonate with everyone. If you want to get philosophical about it all, then pair it with Cal Newport’s thoughts on On Slow Productivity and the Anti-Busyness Revolution.

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