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Canterbury University hosts higher education forum

University of Canterbury
Te Whare Wananga o Waitaha

Communications and Development Department

news release
4 July 2003

Canterbury University hosts higher education forum


More than 2000 higher education experts from Australasia and further afield will converge on Christchurch at the weekend for the 2003 annual conference of HERDSA, the Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia.

The Minister of Education Steve Maharey will open the conference on Sunday at the Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology. The conference is based at the University of Canterbury

At the opening Mr Maharey will launch the HERDSA Fellowship Professional Recognition and Development Scheme. Seven higher education experts — six Australians and one New Zealander — will receive the inaugural fellowships.

HERDSA President Angela Brew says the scheme is designed to provide professional recognition for quality higher/tertiary education teaching.

“It not only provides professional recognition for higher education teachers but also professional development, which is built into the process and ensures that the standards are maintained and enhanced.” The scheme is open to all who teach at the higher/tertiary education level including faculty academics, academic developers and learning support personnel.

“In providing an internationally recognised qualification for those individuals who encourage and support learning, the scheme is designed to improve the quality of teaching across the higher/tertiary education sector and will enhance the professionalism of teachers.

“Because it is based on a peer review process, it builds up cross-institutional networks of teachers engaged in critical reflection into teaching practice and the learning process. It also provides a forum for peer evaluation and dialogue concerning teaching quality.”

Quality monitoring of the scheme is via a Reference Group representing key organisations and stakeholders in the Australasian higher education sector. External assessor for the piloting and introduction of the scheme was Dr Liz Beaty, Director of Teaching and Learning for the Higher Education Funding Council for England.

Key note speakers for the Christchurch conference include Professor Janet Donald, from the Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology at McGill University, Montreal, Professor Ronald Barnett, who is professor of higher education at the Institute of Education and chair of the Higher Degrees Committee of the University of London, and Professor Linda Tuhiwai Smith, of the University of Auckland who is joint Director of Nga Pae o teMaramatanga The National Institute for Research Excellence in Maori Development.

ENDS

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