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Kick-off Search Conference/PhD course

Kick off Conference/PhD Course

Danish School of Education (DPU), Aarhus University

Copenhagen, 6-8 May 2019

A combined kick-off conference and PhD course for the project, ‘European Universities – Critical Futures’ (funded by the Danish Independent Research Council) will be held at the Danish School of Education, Copenhagen, Denmark on 6-8 May 2019.

A network of 17 higher education research centres in Denmark and across Europe has formed to address the project’s central question:

What are the future roles of universities in creating social and regional integration
in Europe, in a shifting global context?

In order to create new scientific concepts and methods for understanding and developing universities' social, political and strategic roles, in the midst of radically transforming European and global contexts, a network of senior and early stage researchers will explore this focal question in three sub-themes:

  1. The roles of universities in European social and political integration (social mobility, refugees, democracy)
  2. The roles of universities in integration of European research and higher education ( global knowledge economy, ERA, EHEA)
  3. European universities in a shifting global context (China’s and other countries’ competing global strategies)

Across these three themes we will consider what research, policy and organisational changes are needed? How can the network best promote public debate of its ideas and discussions with policy makers? How can the research generated be translated into action? n 21 April 2019.

Across these three themes we will consider what research, policy and organisational changes are needed? How can the network best promote public debate of its ideas and discussions with policy makers? How can the research generated be translated into action? The project aims to share existing knowledge, develop new research and rethink the role of European universities in a situation of political, social and geopolitical upheaval. A second aim is to foster a generational shift, by forming networks among PhD students/early stage researchers (ESRs) and senior researchers, with space for ESRs to define agendas for collective future research. A third aim is to foster relationships with the policy community, such that they engage in dialogue with researchers about the agendas and ideas generated by the project.

The kick-off conference will begin the process of collectively reshaping the agenda on European university research and generating ideas for engaging with national and European policy makers on future higher education and research strategies. In order to develop collaborative thinking on universities’ critical futures, the first two days of the integrated kick-off conference/PhD course will be organised as a ‘search conference’, facilitated by Professor Davydd Greenwood (Emeritus, Cornell University) one of the best exponents of this participatory methodology. This brings PhD students/ESRs together with senior researchers and members of the policy community to share their knowledge and current research about the role of universities in Europe and to discuss their aspirations and research ideas for the future. In addition, there will be sessions to discuss the interface between European and university values; and to reflect on different techniques of future making. The third day will involve senior and early stage researchers focusing on each of the project’s above three themes to discuss PhD students’ current projects, generate foci for subsequent workshops and plan collaborative activities.

To register for the conference please go to https://events.au.dk/EUcriticalfuture In addition please would PhD students apply for a place on the course at https://phdcourses.dk/Course/65006 - no later than 21 April 2019.