Imagining Universities as Landscapes (Richard Budd, Centre for Higher Education Research and Evaluation (CHERE), University of Lancaster)

12:30pm - 1:45pm / Wednesday 18th March 2020 / Venue: Arthur West Room, 8-14 Abercromby Square Abercromby SQ (south)
Type: Seminar / Category: Institute/School / Series: Centre for Higher Education Studies
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The term 'landscape' is often used to describe particular elements of higher education such as the policy landscape, pedagogical landscape, or globalized landscape. However, it invariably serves as a metaphor to describe a swathe of interrelated policies, approaches to teaching, or international trends and linkages, and it is rarely used in the vernacular sense, of (also) considering universities from a topographical perspective. This is in spite of the presence of a great deal of work - particularly from geographers - which highlights the importance of the combined roles of the social and material in shaping human (and non-human) experience. The absence of HE work in this area is perhaps curious given the primacy of location in institutional identities, that some universities are explicitly associated with their architecture (red brick and plate glass in the UK, or sandstone in Australia) and that we are currently in the middle of a building boom in UK HE. Universities all 'feel' different to one another, and this presentation suggests that thinking about universities as landscapes, as inhabited, historical, cultural - and physical - spaces is likely to be challenging but offers a richer, interdisciplinary way of thinking about life in higher education.