The Director of the English, Language and Foundation Studies (ELFS), Associate Professor Seamus Fagan, attended the 25th European Access Network (EAN) Conference hosted by University College Dublin.
The Conference was attended by over 200 delegates who were predominantly from Europe but also from the US, Latin America and Australia.
The highlight of the Conference for Associate Professor Fagan was a presentation by Professor Kathleen Lynch, the Chair of Equality Studies at UCD, where she outlined how globalisation was directly affecting equity policy through the increase in private sector provision, the dominance of global university rankings and trends that tends to see equity policy subordinated to concerns around resourcing and the “managerial response”.
Associate Professor Fagan presentation, Varied Strategies to Enhance Student Retention in Open Access Programs in Australia, was well received with many delegates surprised by the sheer size of the University of Newcastle’s (UON) enabling programs and how we “embed” support in our enabling programs.
Associate Professor Fagan visited open access programs at Trinity College Dublin (TCD) and University College Dublin, and it is hoped there will be opportunities in the future to pursue collaborative research.
After the EAN conference, Associate Professor Fagan along with Senior Research Fellow Paul Koshy of the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education (NCSEHE), visited the HEAT office at the University of Kent in Canterbury.
The Director of HEAT, Dr Sharon Smith, and her colleagues provided a briefing on the HEAT system, which was established in 2011 and is now operational within 59 universities across the UK.
HEAT is a portal that enables institutions to track students’ progression from high school and into higher education. Sharon and her colleague Jennifer Wyatt were recent guests of the Centre of Excellence for Equity in Higher Education (CEEHE) at UON.
Jennifer was also interested in the possibility of offering our Open Foundation online courses at the University of Kent.