Education leaders convened in the Netherlands to agree research projects that aim to transform the learning experience of students across Europe.
Colleagues from Leiden University, University of Helsinki, university of Tartu, University College London and Utrecht University joined members from across Imperial College for the meeting.
"We must continue raising the importance of evidence-based decision-making in higher education. At Imperial we use this as the basis for all our plans to transform our learning and teaching." Professor Simone Buitendijk Vice-Provost (Education)
The 'EuroHub' group was formed in early 2018 with the goal of being a European hub for research and innovation in higher education. This second meeting of the group focussed on further developing research ideas, in particular taking forward the group’s interest in student mental health.
Over the course of two days education experts shared information on best practice and discussed potential areas for collaboration in research and education between research-intensive universities.
Delegates heard from Professor Buitendijk about Imperial's ambitious Learning and Teaching Strategy, and also discussed universities' responsibilities towards their online students.
Momentum toward change
After a successful inaugural meeting in South Kensington in the summer, the group were focused on agreeing a number of research priorities while gathered in Leiden.
In her opening remarks the College’s Vice-Provost for Education, Professor Simone Buitendijk, said: “We must continue raising the importance of evidence-based higher education. At Imperial we use this as the basis for all our plans to transform our learning and teaching.
"It is also increasingly clear that high stress and poor mental health is prevalent within the student community. The EuroHub group will conduct collaborative research into how this affects students' study and well-being, so that we can improve this situation."
Groundbreaking educational research
Delegates progressed their ideas on four themes that will form the main current research topics for the EuroHub group: research supervision of students; how to meaningful measure teaching quality; teacher agency; student agency, mental health and performance.
“Education researchers must shine a light on our own teaching and our own biases and examine what we can do about it, striving for a more equitable, balanced and fair education for our students.” Dr Matthew Harris School of Public Health
As part of this discussion the Imperial team presented their research on introducing diversity into the curriculum. Dr Matthew Harris, one of the College's recent Excellence Fund winners said: "We can't underestimate the importance of diversity in our teaching and our research. We all too often rely on scientific research from institutions in the so-called Global North, and research from partners in low and middle-income countries may be unfairly given shorter shrift.
“Education researchers must shine a light on our own teaching and our own biases and examine what we can do about it, striving for a more equitable, balanced and fair education for our students.”
The next meeting of the EuroHub group will be held in Tartu, Estonia in Spring 2019.
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