Critical Higher Education Studies (CHES)

Understanding Higher Education in the Irish Context

Sustainability, transdisciplinarity and the public epistemic role of higher education

Dr Su-ming Khoo, Senior Lecturer in Political Science & Sociology, will address the critical role of education and research in higher education, drawing on the radical roots of inter and trans-disciplinary; noting higher educations' specific democratic role in forstering public reason and aspects of creativity, emergence and the transdisciplinary imagination.

Date: Saturday 7th October 2021
Time: 3pm-4:30pm SAST (GMT+2)
Online via Zoom: To register for this seminar please click here...

ACUSAfrica Seminar

The Civic University Symposium: Reimagining the University for Public Purpose

This symposium marks the first public event organised by the Critical Higher Education Studies (CHES) research group, and aims to initiate a generative conversation about the transformations of higher education, and its role in creative re-imaginations of the university, its spaces, mission, activities and purposes, with equality, inclusion and rights as fundamental commitments. This inaugural event is supported by CELT and the School of Political Science and Sociology Public and Civic Engagement Programme, with keynote speech from Prof Vanessa Andreotti and contributions from Prof Ronaldo Munck and Dr Karen Pashby.

Date: Saturday 2nd December 2017
Time: 10am-4pm
Venue: MY243 Lecture Theatre, Aras Moyola, NUI Galway.

All welcome but places are limited. To RSVP and for more information please CLICK HERE.

The Civic University Symposium


Prof Vanessa Andreotti is a professor at the Department for Educational Studies at the University of British Columbia and holds a Canada Research Chair in Race, Inequalities and Global Change. She was a post-doctoral fellow at NUI Galway from 2006 to 2008. Her research traces systemic and historical patterns of reproduction of global inequalities and examines how these patterns relate to political and affective economies of knowledge production. She has extensive experience working with governments, NGOs, professional associations and local communities in areas of education related to global justice, community engagement, internationalization and indigenous knowledge systems. Many of her publications are available by CLICKING HERE.

Prof Ronaldo Munck is Head of Civic Engagement at DCU and a Visiting Professor of International Development at the University of Liverpool and St. Mary's University, Nova Scotia. He has authored or edited more than 30 books on various topics related to globalisation, international development and social movements as well as over 100 academic journal articles. He is the founding chair of the Development Studies Association of Ireland and of Campus Engage, the national platform for civic engagement in Ireland. He serves on the editorial boards of a number of international journals and has led a range of research consortiums around social engagement/innovation themes. For further details CLICK HERE.

Dr Karen Pashby is Senior Lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University in the Department of Childhood, Youth and Education Studies and the Education and Social Research Institute. Drawing on her experience as a secondary school teacher and teacher educator, her research considers the critical intersections of multicultural and global education, internationalisation of curricula and pedagogy, and the complexities of including youth voice in discussions of global citizenship. For more information CLICK HERE.

A Role for Higher Education

What is the purpose of higher education? Is higher education a public good – and if so, how do we understand the claim that this requires a private cost, and therefore a private gain? Is the knowledge produced by higher education a public good – and if so, how do we understand this in relation to the tendency to lock this knowledge behind paywalls demanded by private publishing companies, and the exclusion of the Global South? Does higher education contribute to building a democratic citizenry – and if so, how does this relate to the increase in performative demands on teaching and research? What are the ethical responsibilities of higher education in the Global North in relation to the majority of the world?

These are some of the questions that the Critical Higher Education Studies (CHES) research group aim to address. CHES emerges from the work of a number of scholars at NUIG who have been developing a critical analysis of aspects of higher education related to ethical internationalisation, research performance management, the crisis in the disciplines, decolonisation of the curriculum and knowledge, and pedagogy. We have made important contributions recently at the European Conference on Educational Research (in 2016 & 2017) and the Sociological Association of Ireland conferences (in 2016 & 2017), Royal Geographical Society conference (2017), as well as submitting a COST Action proposal. CHES aims to create a space for interested scholars and students to critically analyse higher education through a global perspective, re-imagine higher education otherwise, and to offer possible ways forward.

This work will be pursued through:

CHES will be launched at the Civic University: Reimagining the University for Public Purpose symposium on Saturday December 2, 2017 with Professor Vanessa Andreotti, Professor Ronaldo Munck, and Dr. Karen Pashby.

Dr Su-ming Khoo
Dr Simon Warren.