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Building inclusion through flexible and resilient education systems

Following receipt of a major award from Advance HE’s Collaborative Development Fund, Queen Mary Academy is now publishing its final report into developing agile and responsive education and training across the Higher Education (HE) sector.

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Image of students. Credit: iStock.com/Pro2sound
Image of students. Credit: iStock.com/Pro2sound

Authors Janet de Wilde and Danielle Thibodeau spoke to people across the sector about the challenge of promoting inclusion and diversity in Higher Education in a period of immense technological and society change.

They said: “The move away from a ‘single-dose’ of higher education to life-long learning means that learners want and need to balance their studies with other aspects of their lives.

“But because of Covid-19, colleagues working at the coalface have not had the space or time to really reflect on and consider how they want their educational practices to move forward.

“Giving people that space will likely be one of the most challenging tasks for HEIs as we move beyond crisis mode and into new, long-term ways of working.”

The report reflects on the role technologies such as blockchain and digital badges can play, as well as the ways in which people identify as learners. 

Sheila Gupta, Vice-Principal (People, Culture and Inclusion) at Queen Mary said: “This important research give us a snapshot of the sector and its readiness to adapt to the challenges we all currently face. 

“It’s clear that both new technologies and the pandemic are focusing minds on how we will interact with education, both as learners and teachers, in the future.”

Stephanie Marshall, Vice-Principal (Education) at Queen Mary said: “Globally, the higher education sector needs to ensure it has the strategies and infrastructure in place to develop and support the needs of graduates, society and the economy.

“Queen Mary puts inclusivity at the heart of all its work - and I’m delighted to have supported this project which helps our development in this area significantly.”

Further information can be found on the Queen Mary Academy website.

The full report is published by Advance HE

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