Crossing boundaries & navigating borders: Exploring how first in family students move through university landscape. Tue 11th September, 13.00-14.00 hrs, BS 3.28 (Business School)


Associate Professor: Sarah O’Shea

Drawing on research conducted across the Australian higher education sector, this presentation explores the invisible boundaries that first-in-family learners considered they had to overcome in order to get to and succeed at university. These ranged from institutional or organisational boundaries through to boundaries imposed by self and others. Applying the sensitizing lens of boundary crossing, an analysis of how learners both navigated their transition into university and the types of persistence behaviours adopted is provided. The focus is on those who have traversed these boundaries and considers the nature of these incursions and the impacts such movements had, as narrated by the students themselves. While this cohort all self-identified as being the first in their family to attend university they also acknowledged a variety of additional social, cultural and economic factors that impacted upon this educational journey. Referring to in-depth biographical interviews conducted with 72 intersected learners, this deeply qualitative study contributes to our understanding about the university persistence behaviours of diverse student cohorts and provides an alternative framing from which to consider these educational trajectories. Brief Bio: Associate Professor Sarah O’Shea leads the Adult, Vocational and Higher Education discipline in the School of Education, University of Wollongong, Australia. Sarah’s institutional and nationally funded research studies advance understanding of how under-represented student cohorts enact success within university, navigate transition into this environment, manage competing identities and negotiate aspirations for self and others. Sarah has published extensively in the field and has been awarded over $(AUD)1.5 million in grant funding since 2009. Sarah is also an Australian Learning and Teaching Fellow (ALTF), a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) and a Visiting Research Fellow at the Australian National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education

Register here:


Failing better in order to fare better – Tuesday 4th September – 13.00-14.00 hrs – BS 3.15 – Business School (North Atrium)

Emerging research suggests that for students to fare better, they need to fail better (cf. Carol Dweck, 2006). How students respond to failure is a strong predictor of future success, and the notion of resilience is increasingly prevalent in conversations about higher education. Resilience has a number of characteristics, including levels of persistence, effort, positive mindset, motivation, and self-regulation. So how do we build resilience into our classrooms? Are there ways to embed resilience into the content we deliver? This talk will explore the ideas of resilience, buoyancy and grit in the landscape of higher education and make a case for modelling failure as a means of building the reserves of both teachers and learners so we can move forward together wi th courage and hope Dr. Jessica Riddell is the inaugural Stephen A. Jarislowsky Chair of Undergraduate Teaching Excellence at Bishop’s University. In this capacity, she explores innovative teaching and learning practices, creates mentorship opportunities for students and faculty, mobilizes knowledge around learning in higher education (with a particular focus on the humanities), enhances professional development initiatives for her colleagues, and participates in a wide range of consultations at the national and international levels. She is the VP Canada on the Board of ISSoTL (International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning) as well as a Board member for the 3M National Executive Council. Dr. Riddell is the faculty columnist of University Affairs and her articles appear in a series called “Adventures in Academe.” She is also an Associate Professor and the Chair of the Teaching and Learning Centre. Her research into higher education is broad, and she has published on exp eriential learning in the humanities, using legal trials as models of undergraduate inquiry, how we change institutional cultures to support scholarly teaching. She is currently writing a book with two colleagues on critical empathy and Shakespeare in the 21st century classroom. Dr. Riddell was awarded the 3M National Teaching Fellowship in 2015, the first recipient of the award at Bishop’s University and the youngest ever recipient in the national award’s 33 year history.


Dr. Jessica Riddell


Pedagogies for Sustainability, Responsible Enterprise and Innovation: 11th July 2018

seeg event full

On the 11th July research group SEEG in partnership with Centre of Excellent in Learning and Teaching (CELT) are hosting a joint workshop: Pedagogies for Sustainability, Responsible Enterprise and Innovation.

The workshop draws together in-house MMU expertise, recent CELT-funded research , and good practice from external and international case studies to look at how new and innovative pedagogical approaches, including Problem and Enquiry Based Learning (PEBL) short training courses (Carbon Literacy) and online-technology facilitated learning can help us stay at the forefront of enhanced student experience and pedagogical innovation. We will hear about case examples from Nottingham Trent University, and internationally from colleagues from Arizona State (USA) and Aalborg (DK) Universities.

The whole schedule for the workshop is now fully confirmed, please click the Eventbrite link to book your place:

If you have any questions about the event, please direct them to Valeria Vargas ( or Sally Randles (


In pursuit of Quality Learning: Enhancing Learning in Virtual Environment: Tuesday 19th June @ 16.30 in room 2.02, Brooks Building

Seminar by visiting speaker, Dr Nicholas Blessing Mavengere The present environment is very dynamic characterized by factors, such as, intense technological innovation, global economy and strong competition and information overload. Learning is one of the ever-required virtues in this continuously changing environment. So rapid development of technologies is both a push factor in learning requirements and a vehicle to advance the learning process. In addition, the global nature of the environment today calls for virtual learning because of convenience, time and cost factors. The seminar seeks to highlight measures to promote virtual learning experience in higher education. This is drawn from the results of a study which included review of pedagogical techniques and technological tools that fit the learners’ and study content requirements to foster learning in a virtual environment. Dr. Nicholas Blessing Mavengere is researcher (post-doctoral) at University of Tampere in Finland. His research completed in 2013, was selected best PhD at a top European conference and received a university award. He has broad technology related research interests including technology application in higher education, strategic agility in business, ICT4D and information systems. He has published in journals, such as, Journal of Education and Technologies, Journal of Information Technology Cases & Applications Research, Electronic Journal for IS evaluation, International Journal of Agile Systems and Management. He has been associate editor at the World Conference on Computers in Education (WCCE) 2017 and 2016 IFIP TC3 joint conference, focusing on the topic of Stakeholders and Information Technology in Education. He has reviewed for several journals and conferences.  If you are interested in attending this seminar please click on the link provided below:-

Higher Education in Denmark – Thursday 17th May, 10-11 am – Room 3.28 The Business School


Speaker:  Kim Møller

Speaker affiliation:  University of Aalborg, Denmark

Higher Education in Denmark is significantly different from that in the UK.  It adopts a different teaching model, relying on problem-based learning rather than the traditional lecture/tutorial approach in the UK.  Students work in small groups in real businesses to solve real problems. In this way, business and academia work closely together to ensure that all learning is grounded in practice and that all learning is applicable to industry once students graduate.  The way in which students are assessed is also different to UK practice.  Student work is assessed in a three-hour verbal examination rather than the UK approach of written assignments.  

Aalborg University is at the forefront of these approaches and, indeed, the system is often known as the ‘Aalborg Model’. Kim Møller is an Assistant Professor at Aalborg University, and is coming to MMU to explain the principles behind the method, to share best practice, and to offer practical insights into how we might be able to implement some of the innovative techniques in our own programmes. 

If you would like to attend.  Please email Mark Crowder on or contact him by phone on X 3744


NUS Responsible Futures meeting

Dear Colleagues,


We have the pleasure to invite you to Manchester Met’s National Union of Students (NUS) Responsible Futures (RF) meeting on the 4th of May at 2 pm in BS 311, hosted by the Sustainable and Ethical Enterprise Group (SEEG).

The NUS Responsible Futures project aims to place social responsibility and environmental sustainability at the heart of education across UK universities and colleges. The NUS Responsible Futures accreditation aligns with other accreditations and initiatives including People and Planet University League, QAA subject benchmarks, PRME, EQUIS, AACSB, Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES).

Manchester Met was one of 15 universities and colleges to pilot the RF project, helping to develop the standard. We achieved our institutional accreditation in 2015 – the feedback report can be found here:

A reaccreditation audit will be taking place on May 16th and 17th, where a selection of criteria must be met through a partnership between our institution and Students’ Union.

There are great examples of teaching, engagement and research activities across Manchester Met that are relevant for the reaccreditation. However, keeping up to date with all your great work is not always easy. This is why we have the pleasure to invite you to an hour meeting in which we will provide an overview of NUS Responsible Futures project/accreditation, followed by a discussion from which we will gather information to showcase to the student auditors and the NUS.

It is also a great pleasure to announce that the three Responsible Futures high-level champions are:

Amie Atkinson, Cheshire Vice President (The Union)

Dr. Liz Price, Head of School of Science and the Environment (Manchester Met)

Prof. Sally Randles, Chair of Sustainability and Innovation (Manchester Met)

We look forward to seeing you!


Please email Chloe Andrews to confirm your attendance.