Conference Tracks

The theme of the conference is ‘Scanning the horizons: Institutional Research in a borderless world’.

The conference aims to explore the role of Institutional Research in a globalised education context where tertiary level institutions increasingly operate across conventional boundaries: geographical (e.g. transnational education); temporal and spatial (e.g. e-learning, virtual universities and rewriting service); cross-sectoral (as in consortia of business and universities); and cross-functional (as in convergence between academic and vocational education). At the same time, institutions are being required to operate more efficiently and effectively in a context of reduced financial and physical resources, requiring us to find new ways to approach our tasks. How can we, as Higher Education practitioners and specifically Institutional Researchers, harness the available knowledge and resources to support institutional decision making, engage with stakeholders, improve the student experience and student outcomes, and prepare our institutions for the future?

Tracks to be explored at the conference:

Accountability and Engagement: Moving beyond Performance Indicators and Quality Assurance Links to abstracts

  • What is the role of Institutional Research in a context of ever-increasing internal and external demands for accountability? Suggested topics include:
    • Building links with stakeholders and communities
    • Encouraging the responsible use of performance indicators and league tables.
    • Developing better methodologies for comparing higher education institutions.
    • The role of Institutional Research in quality assurance and enhancement.

Supporting decision makers: Planning, Policy and Management Links to abstracts

  • The role of Institutional Research in internal and external planning and
    policy making. Suggested topics include:
    • Environmental scanning and identifying strategic issues.
    • Investigating and monitoring the efficiency and effectiveness of policies, strategies and processes.
    • Scenario modelling.
    • Methods of information provision for improved Enrolment Management.

Institutional Research in action: Tools, methods and
capacity building Links to abstracts

  • Developing the profession of Institutional Research, through:
    • Building capacity in Institutional Research.
    • Developing new tools and methods for IR.
    • Promoting the role and profile of IR in learning organisations.
    • Measuring the impact of Institutional Research.
    • Institutional Research beyond institutional and national borders.

Enhancing student experiences and measuring outcomes Links to abstracts

  • Using Institutional Research throughout the student life cycle, from recruitment to employment. Suggested topics include:
    • The use of IR to help enhance the student experience.
    • Researching student retention/progression/completion.
    • Using IR to help enhance teaching, learning and assessment.
    • The role of IR in internationalising the curriculum and developing students’ intercultural skills and understanding.

Looking forward through Institutional Research Links to abstracts

  • Against a background of rapid change in its social, economic, scientific, environmental and technological contexts, how can Institutional Research help the future higher education institution to engage with its range of possible futures? Themes include:
    • Considering future scenarios.
    • Working across institutional and disciplinary boundaries, and across national borders.
    • Planning for new technologies.
    • Creating sustainable futures.

Dates to remember

  • 7th March 2011
    Registration opens
  • 25th March 2011
    Notification of acceptance
  • 6th May 2011
    Early Bird registration ends
  • 3rd June 2011
    Final registration
  • 16th/17th June 2011
    Conference dates

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