The joint SRHE/LD conference on 'Managing Learning Innovation' which took place on 1st & 2nd September 97 at the Lincoln University campus was adjudged a great success by all who attended. There were over 100 delegates, most from the UK, but also from mainland Europe, the USA, Canada and Australia. The 1st day began with an introduction by Heather Eggins, welcoming delegates, explaining the role of the SRHE and setting the scene. The first keynote address, delivered by Roger King, prompted a lively debate, this was to be the hallmark of many of the conference's subsequent sessions.

After a brief lunch break, a series of case studies sessions were held as follows :
  • Professor Paul Bacsich
    Sheffield Hallam University
    The Virtual Campus Programme :
    a Whole-Campus, Every-Student Model
    of Learning Innovation
  • Professor Stephen Brown
    De Montfort University
    Westward Ho!
    The Process of Change Management
    in Learning at De Montfort University
  • Dr Terence Karran
    University of Lincolnshire & Humberside
    Achieving Change in Academia :
    People, Problems and Practicalities
  • John Richardson
    the Open Learning Foundation
    Changing Courses :
    Strategies for Changing the Learning Environment
  • Suzanne Robertson
    Sunderland University
    Managing Learning Innovation :
    Burning the Candle at Both Ends.


Dr Terence Karran
presenting a case study session

Lincoln Cathedral


The remainder of the afternoon was given over to cultural activities centered on the city of Lincoln, including a visit to the cathedral for evensong, a walking tour of the city centre and a tour by open topped bus.

Following a wine reception and a much praised conference dinner, delegates assembled in the Jackson Lecture Theatre for a keynote address delivered by Dr Mike Fitzgerald (Vice Chancellor of Thames Valley University). Mike's address which was persuasive, insightful and delivered with much verve and humour, was well received by all (as the applause at the end indicated). As Mike was recovering from recent medical treatment he was unable to continue with a Q&A session from the floor, but he was able to speak with delegates keen to develop some of the outlined themes of his address, after everybody had returned to the dining area.


Dr Mike Fitgerald

Day 2 began with an opening address given by Professor Roger Lewis of the University of Lincolnshire & Humberside, examining the challenges of managing learning innovations within higher education in the UK. This set the scene for a session (after a coffee break) with Professor Mance Yorke from Liverpool John Moores University, entitled 'Fast Forward? Managing to Meet the Challenges of Tomorrow'. This lead to some very useful discussion about the pace of change in HE and strategies for dealing with it. After a break for lunch, delegates then attended the 2nd round of case studies sessions.

The 1st keynote speech of the afternoon was given by Sir John Daniel (Vice Chancellor of the Open University), under the title, 'Scaling Up Innovation : Top Down or Bottom Up?'. Drawing on some of the themes of his recent book, 'Mega Universities and Knowledge Media : Technology Strategies for Higher Education', Sir John's address looked at the management approach to innovation within the Open University and the OU's preparation for the growth of knowledge media in higher education. After coffee and a concluding address by Professor Roger Lewis, the final session was held by David Baume from the Open University, entitled, 'Supporting Learning Innovation - Movements and Methods'.

Some of the 'cast'.

Detailed summaries (and complete papers, where appropriate) of the keynote speakers' contributions and of the case studies sessions will be made available. They are currently being compiled by Geoff Windle, to be reproduced as paper based documents.Check the 'news' page for details.