GHEAR conference 2012

Globalising Geographies of Higher Education and Research Conference 2012 - Bristol

Conference brochure (PDF, 2,564kB)

Conference flyer (PDF, 326kB) 

Keynote Lecture:

Thomas Docherty - Globalisation and the University, or, From Glasgow to Saturn

Workshop A: Gobalising Academics

Academics are being asked to respond new demands as research questions become more complex and multi-faceted, institutions develop globalising research strategies, and funders seek solutions to ʻgrand challengeʼ problems.  In the context of these new research ambitions there are growing imperatives for academics to be internationally networked, work on interdisciplinary issues, and undertake research that has identifiable impacts.

These imperatives are manifest in a variety of ways; from the ʻbig scienceʼ team based models that dominate in the physical and natural sciences, through to the informal networked models more common in the social sciences and humanities.

This session will examine these new ways of working, identifying the challenges globalising research ambitions pose for academic practice and career development, and seeking ways in which these new academic activities might be better supported.


Wendy Larner, University of Bristol, United Kingdom  Powerpoint (Office document, 600kB)


Richard Le Heron and Nick Lewis, University of Auckland, New Zealand  Powerpoint (Office document, 601kB) 
Sue Parnell, University of Cape Town, South Africa  Powerpoint (Office document, 2,331kB)
Matthew Sparke, University of Washington, USA Global ties and local enclosures (PDF, 5,753kB)
Paul Valdes, University of Bristol, United Kingdom Powerpoint (1.2 MB)


Nan Yeld, University of Cape Town, South Africa


Workshop B: Globalising Infrastructure

New research ambitions make increasing demands of research professionals.  In recent years universities have become much more deliberate in their efforts to support, develop and manage academic research and enterprise.  In turn, this has had implications for the evolving identities of research managers, many of whom are from an academic or corporate research background.

To date, however, these support efforts have largely been nationally focused, with Research Councils, industry and national charities as the primary focus of attention. 

How will research management infrastructure and strategy change as it becomes more attuned to global projects spanning institutions, including those in the developing world, multinational corporations and transnational civil society organisations?  What new skills will be needed and what are the implications for the ‘profession’?   Embodied in whom?


David Langley, University of Bristol, United Kingdom


Rowan Douglas, Willis Research Network, UK
John Kirkland, Association. of Commonwealth Universities, United Kingdom
Glenn Swafford, University of Oxford, United Kingdom Powerpoint (Office document, 7,442kB)
Frans Swanepoel, University of the Free State, South Africa


John Rogers, Stirling University, United Kingdom


Workshop C: Globalising Learning

Over the past two decades, there have been major changes in who learns what, how, and where, in the university sector. These changes, widely associated with globalisation, are the outcome of geopolitical, economic and cultural shifts which shape, and are shaped by individuals, institutional, national and regionalising projects, policies and practices.

In this panel we consider the challenges, complexities, and realities of this shifting agenda for universities, for academics, administrators and learners.

For example, how might the cultural differences associated with a large international body of students be used in creative and productive ways within universities?  Do universities make full use of the range of competencies of their faculty and administrators to promote global learning?  What are the challenges of being sensitive to the demands of both local responsibilities and global challenges, and how might the two be brought together into a productive set of outcomes?  How might universities learn themselves from each other regarding best practices, and how might they ensure that the 'idea of the university' as John Henry Newman expressed it, is truly open to the 'universe' of ideas?


Ian Wei, University of Bristol, United Kingdom


Hugh Lauder, University of Bath, United Kingdom  
Simon Marginson, University of Melbourne, Australia
Kris Olds, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA   Powerpoint (Office document, 3,035kB)
Amy Stambach, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA


Ka Ho Mok, Hong Kong Institute of Education, China  Powerpoint (Office document, 553kB)


Workshop D: Globalising Institutions

It is often assumed that universities will continue to dominate the research terrain as research and higher education globalise.  This session will interrogate this proposition, examining the research ambitions of universities alongside those of alternative research providers such as multinational corporations, think-tanks and consultants.

While universities are now actively creating global networks, transnational alliances, and branch campuses, these alternative providers also have global ambitions and may be more agile and better able to produce research that is international, interdisciplinary and has identifiable impacts.

How are the different research institutions transforming?  Are there more or less preferred versions of this new research terrain?  What novel relations might be forged between universities and other research institutions?


Guy Orpen, University of Bristol, United Kingdom


Martin Bean, Open University, United Kingdom
Gilles Bousquet, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA

Peter Gist, Arup, United Kingdom  Powerpoint (Office document, 2,370kB)
Joanna Newman, Higher Education International and EU Unit, United Kingdom


Nigel Thrift, University of Warwick, United Kingdom