Monday, 24 May 2010

Fwd: missenden news may

Research Strategy and the REF   10/11 June


John Rogers, Director of Research and Knowledge Transfer, University of Stirling

Sean Fielding, Director of Research and Enterprise Funding, University of Exeter


There are major changes afoot within the research environment.  Proposals for the Research Excellence Framework are rapidly firming up; priorities for funding are being hotly debated; the economic, social and cultural benefits of public investment in research are being questioned; and, of course, assessing such potential and actual benefits is proving a major challenge.  And all of this against a backdrop of substantial pressure on public funds.  This seminar will consider the implications of these, and other factors, for the ongoing development and implementation of research strategies for higher education institutions.


Examining doctoral candidates   17/18 June     


John Wakeford, Missenden Centre

Richard Wakeford, Educational Advisor, Cambridge University School of Clinical Medicine & assessment consultant to a number of medical royal colleges  

Clive Robertson, Seddons; contributing editor The Law of Higher Education by Farrington and Palfreyman OUP


Examiners of doctorates carry at least as much responsibility as supervisors. Yet few have had any serious preparation for the job.  Criteria for success in a doctorate are unclear and there are no standard procedures for the conduct of vivas. So it is not surprising that increasingly doctoral candidates are challenging decisions, most often on the grounds of how they were made.


Such examinations are 'one-off' and infrequent activities for both parties. In contrast, in medical education at all levels, especially post-graduate, oral examinations are an embedded tradition, and serious attempts have been made in that field to 'challenge-proof' these. This seminar will be able to assess the relevance to the PhD viva of these experiences.


We will address the issues of examiner preparation and the viva process, and provide the opportunity for participants to develop new guidelines for examiners and institutions appointing them.


Participants will have access to the archive of diaries of candidates' accounts of examination and vivas and their experience of complaints, appeals and litigation.


Participants are invited to share topics and problems of interest to their institution.


Facing up to the new agenda    1st/2nd July        


Mike Thorne, Vice Chancellor, Anglia Ruskin University


Higher education in the UK is to face the most dramatic changes in a generation.  By July policies of the new Government will become clear:

·         Funding cuts

·         Research concentration

·         Increase in student fees

·         More global competition

·         Possible closure of some universities


We are scheduling this seminar to give an opportunity for a small group of university leaders and future leaders to review, under the Chatham House rule, the impact of some of the main challenges and opportunities likely to confront higher education in the next few years and to consider new priorities for their institution.


This seminar is open to senior academic, administrative staff and members of governing bodies.


Participants will be invited to share topics and problems of interest to their institution. The precise agenda will allow free flow of discussion of these informed by the views and insights of an experienced Vice Chancellor.



Details and online bookings:

or email  or call Eva on 01494 866811

Further information: John Wakeford, Head of the Centre and seminar leader:  mobile 07905111415.

Special tuition and versions for individual institutions now getting popular.  Contact us for a quote.


John Wakeford
Missenden Centre
mobile: 07905111415


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