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The Porous University, Socialisation and Reflections by Alex Dunedin

How are we to conceptualize the notion of the porous university ? The anchor point is understanding what we mean by university, for if we know what a university is we are then in a position to imagine how it might be porous, or what porous might mean in reference to such a thing.

My interpretations are salted with the things which have become meaningful to me, being someone who has never formally gone to university but however spent a great deal of time inside them, amongst the students, academics and general staff, as well as occupying the same terrain as these institutions in geographic and intellectual terms. Read more

The University As A Third Space? by Keith Smyth

Ray Oldenburg’s (1989) influential work on third places (or third spaces) within communities has been pivotal in encouraging sociologists, civic leaders and activists to look critically at how our public spaces for congregating (e.g. museums, cafes, pubs, parks, even barber shops) can provide a locus for democratic discussion and debate, community action, creative thought and expression, and importantly also for frivolity, friendship, and harmonious interaction. Read more

Podcast: Keith Smyth talks about Digital Literacies

Keith Smyth, Senior Lecturer in Education at Napier University gave a presentation at the Adult Learning Project Annual General Meeting on how community education can use digital tools. Digital literacies are high on the priority list for educationalists, and it is key how they are employed in the community context. Where do the internet, computers, MOOCs, email, and any modern technology fit into learning today ? Well, these are some of the concepts which Keith talks about here.

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The Marketisation of Higher Education and Student as Consumer was suggested by Keith Smyth

As part of the Ragged Library, Keith Smyth, Senior Lecturer in Higher Education at Edinburgh Napier University suggested ‘Molesworth, M., Scullion, R. and Nixon, E. (Eds.) (2010). The Marketisation of Higher Education and Student as Consumer. Oxon and New York: Routledge.’…

Published in 2010 (paperback 2011), The Marketisation of Higher Education and Student as Consumer presented a timely, and still invaluable, critical consideration of the state of Higher Education in the UK set against a backdrop of post-war education sector reforms and within the context of government policy being introduced as we entered the current decade.

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Philosophy of Education: An Anthology was suggested by Keith Smyth

As part of the Ragged Library, Keith Smyth, Senior Lecturer in Higher Education at Edinburgh Napier University suggested ‘Philosophy of Education: An Anthology. Curren, R. (Ed.) (2007) Oxford: Blackwell.’…

Within any discipline area the published anthology is a notoriously difficult prospect. Striking the balance between breadth of coverage and depth of exploration for those who are new to a particular field of knowledge, while at the same time also offering a reference text of value to those who are more experienced scholars or practitioners, would seem an uneasy undertaking.

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Journal: Finding a Way to Participate

I was invited to write an opinion piece for the Journal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice by Keith Smyth not so long ago.  This was unusual in a number of ways, but most particularly because of the warm invitation to take part in the life of an institution as an outsider, and secondly because even though I lack formal qualifications I was being valued by the academic community.

To me it is a message of hope that new winds are ushering in new ways for everyone to participate in the intellectual life – of which we are all a part, but not all recognised… The Journal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice aims to provide a supportive publishing outlet to allow established and particularly new authors to contribute to the scholarly discourse of academic practice. Long may it last… Read more