Newcastle College HE Student Conference
Posted on: August 27, 2014 by: Jonathan Eaton
Around one in twelve HE students are currently enrolled on programmes offered by college-based higher education (CBHE) providers. Colleges usually offer a distinct HE provision focussing on vocational qualifications. Newcastle College is one of the largest CBHE providers with around 3,000 students and one of only three colleges to currently possess Foundation Degree Awarding Powers.
Newcastle College hosted its second annual HE Student Conference on Wednesday 2nd July. The event was deliberately scheduled in close proximity to our Graduation Ceremonies in order to form part of a broader period of celebration of student achievement. The conference theme was ‘Student as Producer’. The keynote address was delivered by Professor Mike Neary (University of Lincoln), who outlined how the concept of ‘Student as Producer’ has been developed and implemented at Lincoln and a number of other universities.
The HE Student Conference reflected the vocational nature of our provision. Students are encouraged to communicate their research in a manner which aligns with their discipline and future career aspirations. For example, the conference featured an exhibition of creative work by photography and textiles undergraduates alongside academic papers. Students from a number of institutions, including West Lancashire College and Newcastle University, presented at the conference.
Over the last academic year, staff and students from our Performance Research Cluster have collaborated on the Newcastle College 1914 Project, which investigated the experiences of an academic community during the First World War. Archival research was used to inform the artistic development of an original piece of physical theatre, ‘The Rutherfordian Front: A Story of Brotherhood’, which premiered for the general public on Monday 4th August. The student performers presented a short extract from their performance piece at the conference. The appearance of a bed, used as a prop in their performance, aroused great interest as conference delegates arrived at the event.
The HE Student Conference served as a focal event which brought the entire academic community together. Students particularly valued the opportunity to present their research to institutional leaders and senior managers, as well as their peers.