2016 Brian Smith Public Lecture

Thursday, 1 September 2016, 03:00 pm — Thursday, 1 September 2016, 05:00 pm

Location: Basden Theatre (BA), University of Newcastle, Callaghan
Contact: Eventbrite - Brian Smith Student Resilience Lecture
RSVP: Wednesday, 31 August 2016
Graduate hat and certificate

This year's Brian Smith Public Lecture will be delivered by Professor Jacqueline Stevenson from the UK on the topic of student resilience.

The English Language and Foundation Studies Centre along with the Centre of Excellence for Equity in Higher Education invites you to join us for this insightful lecture to be followed by refreshments.


Approaches to UK higher education transition and retention interventions are increasingly being shaped by the need to build students' resilience. In the US similar approaches are designed to help students develop 'grit'.

Both sets of interventions are built on the belief that students at risk of withdrawing early lack resilience, which locates both the problem, and also the solution, firmly with the individual student.

Professor Jacqueline Stevenson is Head of Research in the Sheffield Institute of Education at Sheffield Hallam University (UK) and has a key area of interest around the social and academic experiences of religious and refugee students.

In this lecture, she will draw on narrative interviews with students from diverse backgrounds to critique the ways resilience activities can individualise and stigmatise students.

About the lecture

The Brian Smith Widening Participation Public Lecture honours the University of Newcastle's values of equity and access to higher education and is presented by the English Language and Foundation Studies Centre in conjunction with the Centre of Excellence for Equity in Higher Education.

The lecture pays tribute to the late Dr Brian Smith, who founded the University's Open Foundation program in 1974. Dr Smith developed the program based on the ideals of open entry and cultivating foundations of knowledge. Open Foundation is now a sector-leading program and the largest of its kind in Australia.