HEIR Network

Higher Education Institutional Research Network


Oxford Brookes Conference

Oxford Brookes University, 8-9 September 2014

Welcome to the 7th Annual UK and Ireland Higher Education Institutional Research Conference

This year’s conference will be held at Oxford Brookes University. The conference will be of interest to academics and professionals with an interest in using empirical research for strategic planning, learning and teaching developments and change, student support and policy development and overall quality enhancement.

It is open to all those interested in institutional research from around the world and we welcome a rich variety of institutional research approaches and perspectives. The programme is available here.

The aim of the 2014 HEIR Conference is to explore how we translate research findings into actions that give rise to change. Most Higher Education institutions across the World now collect and hold large repositories of data, both qualitative and quantitative, relating to their students, what they learn how they learn, what they think of their experiences and how they interact with their institutions. The dilemma for institutional researchers is to identify not only the methodologies and approaches to analysis that give validity but also those that have credibility amongst our community and key decision makers.

Our four Key note speakers each come from different perspectives: Alex Buckley (@ajbtwit), from the Higher Education Academy (HEA) will be discussing the work of the Student Engagement Survey Group; Mark Gittoes of the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) will examine the contested issue of performance indicators in higher education. Closer to the learning experience, Alan Smeaton (@asmeatonof Dublin City University will introduce a discussion on the relatively new area of Learning Analytics; whilst Tansy Jessop (@TESTAwin)/Yaz El-Hakim (@yazelhakim10will provide the conference with an overview of the outcomes of the Transforming the Experience of Students Through Assessment (TESTA) project, a research driven method, which has been used in over 40 Universities across the globe.

The conference promises to be an excellent occasion for discussion, debate and networking. Join us in Oxford Brookes’s newest building, the John Henry Brookes building, which defies visitors not to be impressed and inspired. The city of Oxford, a world renowned centre of learning and culture, provides the backdrop for the conference. The conference dinner will take place in the Macdonald Randolph Hotel in the heart of the city and well known for its appearances in the famous BBC series ‘Morse’. I look forward to meeting you in September.


Ian Scott (Conference Organiser)