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RA5a: Structure,environment and staffing policy

Research Strategy and Structure: The Institutional Perspective

The Strategic Plan (1996 - 2001) for University College Worcester (UCW) reiterates its commitment to ‘promoting academic enquiry and advancing knowledge’ and to serving the needs of the regional community. Explicit reference is made to research being an essential academic activity. Research in Education fulfils these aspects of UCW’s Mission and Strategic Plan. This submission describes a vigorous research culture and appropriate research collaborations based on regional, national and international alliances. QAA Subject Review (23 points scored) reported that the Education research centres made significant contributions to teaching quality.

Major institutional developments during the current RAE cycle illustrate UCW’s research maturity. Formal University College status has been conferred. The acquisition of taught degree awarding powers in 1997 led to accreditation by Coventry University to administer research degrees. UCW has a well developed Research Committee structure (e.g. Research Policy Committee, Research Degrees Board, Ethics Committee, Research Student Forum and Departmental Research Sub-Committees) and a Graduate School, opened in 1999 by Professor Burgess, which plays a vital role in supporting students and staff. The vitality of the research culture stems from infrastructural developments, staff research interests at College level, and the utilization of funding derived from Education’s achievement of a Grade 3b in the 1996 RAE exercise on support for staff research.

Research Strategy, Priorities and Supportive Structures

Between 1992-96 research was organised into three ‘Key Research Areas’ (KRAs) namely Early Childhood Education; Learning and Teaching; and Educational Management. A Faculty Research Committee promoted individual and group research, provided a forum for debate, and supportively encouraged a research culture. A Reader was appointed (1995) to manage the development of education research in a coherent manner. Building on this the 1996 submission set as priorities for future action:
· to nurture less experienced researchers;
· to network regionally, nationally and internationally;
· to develop research interests of relevance to practitioners and policy-makers;
· to increase the numbers of PhD completions;
· and to increase the number of research active staff.
An RAE Grade 3b was awarded. An Education research strategy for 1996-2001 was established which deployed resources strategically so that research is now better supported, managed, planned and focused.

The following summarises the strong growth of the research profile since 1996.

EDUCATION UOA 68
1991-1996
1996-2001
Research active staff (A/A*4)
14 (14FTE)
26 (23.1FTE)
- with 4 publications
8
17
Research contracts income over RAE period
£580,142
£1,755,320
Research contract income per annum
£169,797
£351,064
MPhil completions
5
6
PhD completions
1
12

In Education’s third RAE submission we evidence a substantial increase (1996-2001) in research activity. We have developed a research support infrastructure which is generating a sustainable education research culture. Our achievements are to have

§ nurtured and supported less experienced researchers;
§ greatly increased the number of research active staff;
§ doubled the number of research active staff with 4 publications;
§ consolidated existing strengths and developed others;
§ increased substantially the number of successful PhD completions;
§ enabled effective networking and dissemination nationally, regionally and internationally.

Research is more focused. Research activities have been led by the Senior Research Fellows (some with professorial status) appointed to each KRA. Each area is supported by specialist research centres with senior academic research active staff to develop strategy and to stimulate research activity.

The research infrastructure in Education: creating vitality

Support for staff research has been formalized through the activities of an Education Research Office. A suite of rooms was dedicated to this purpose and equipped with computer workstations and office equipment. Funding allowed for two full-time assistants to be appointed in 1997 with a third in 1998. The range and quality of support work enabled these to be up-graded to Research Support Assistants in 1999. Staff development is enabling this team to develop skills and experience to enhance support strategies for research.

An Education Research Senior Management Team, chaired by the Dean, has developed strategic vision and management discipline. The four KRAs which are presented in this submission are as follows:

1. ‘Early Childhood Education’. Research in Early Childhood had been since 1992 strongly developing its national and international reputation through the work of the Centre for Research in Early Childhood.
2. ‘Learning and Teaching’ covering both schools and higher education. An aspect of this is supported by the Primary English and Children’s Literature Research Centre. The latter is supported by the Learning and Teaching Centre
3. ‘Action and Reflection for Professional Development’, focusing on learning through reflection in schools, institutions and industry. This is supported by the Policy into Practice research centre (PiP). It incorporates the previous KRA in education management.
4. ‘Inclusion, Support and Equity Issues in Education’. This covers special needs in education, inclusive policies, equal opportunities and widening participation. It is supported by the ‘Centre for Special Education – Enhancing Inclusion’ and the Equal Opportunities Unit.

RAE funding, supplemented by money from research projects and consultancies, was used to appoint the Senior Research Fellows for each KRAs with responsibilities to encourage colleagues to publish in their chosen fields and to promote collaboration. Formally designated Research Centres have supported, extended and enriched research activities. Funds were allocated to provide time for research active staff (we supported 30 colleagues in 1997/98) and by allocating funds to each KRA (in 1998/99 this supported 39 staff). A bidding system for funding was established, and money allocated to both experienced and staff with less research experience. The research infrastructure has been managed by Professor Ghaye with the support of the Dean and Heads of Department.

This submission summarises the work of our four KRAs. Each has a particular ‘client’ and workplace focus, ‘users’ who vary from schools, local authorities, regional authorities, health trusts, NGOs, Government departments and European policy makers such as OECD. Much of this is practitioner research on learning, teaching and training, focusing on education, health, police, and businesses. There is synergy between the KRAs and their supporting Research Centres. For example KRAs 3 & 4 have a shared research interest in vulnerable children and associated issues of resilience, advocacy and transitions. Staff from both KRAs are currently working together on the 4 year Mumbai Street Children Project. A three year participatory action research project has just begun which is researching ‘The importance of transitions in the learning experiences of vulnerable children in school’. This is a collaborative project involving Professors Pumfrey and Ghaye from UCW and Professor Fiedler from the University of Wisconsin, USA and associated staff from the Policy into Practice research centre and the Centre for Special Education at UCW. The formative outcomes will be presented at the annual Oshkosh conference in the USA in February 2002 and the final report at the international ISEC 2005 conference in Edinburgh. There are also mutually supportive synergies between KRAs 1, 2 and 4 with examples of research on primary schools (KRAs 1 and 2), on inclusive learning and teaching (KRAs 2 and 4) and equity in early childhood provision (KRAs 1 and 4).

Given the current size of the institution and its research development trajectory, it makes good sense to work together to share knowledge, skills and experiences. This way of working adds significant multi-disciplinary value to our research projects, where collaborations with Health, Psychology and ICT departments have been particularly fruitful. All staff are free to contribute to more than one of KRA, although most regard one as their research base. New researchers are encouraged to publish through joint-authored articles and edited books. We expect some of these to develop strongly for the 2006 submission. Researchers (including contract researchers) are supported through induction and training programmes, and partnered with academic staff in projects such as early childhood (KRA 1) and reflective practice (KRA 3). Staff, whether academic or researcher, are encouraged to work towards appropriate qualifications, up to PhD.

KRA 1: RESEARCH in EARLY CHILDHOOD

Currently this comprises five category A staff and an Honorary Senior Research Fellow. The coordinating Senior Research Fellow is Dr. Bigger. Much of its work is derived from the activities of the formally designated Centre for Early Childhood Research (CREC) whose Director is Professor Pascal. CREC operates as a coherent group of researchers dedicated to raising the quality of children’s early education and care. Since 1996 CREC has developed rapidly and extensively, increasing its staff and accommodation and its national and international reputation. CREC has recently opened a second research base in inner-city Birmingham, sponsored by the City of Birmingham Education Authority. This is rapidly becoming the focus of inner-city research, with regional and national funding gained. In the first year of operation in Birmingham, the city has sponsored 6 MPhil bursaries to be supervised by staff in CREC. In addition to CREC, the Early Childhood Studies teaching team is developing research activity which will result in academic publications over the next four years.

Their very significant achievements are reflected in a long list of publications, reports and international conference papers. CREC has a substantial research profile with the DfEE. This includes evaluations of the Government’s first 29 Early Excellence Centres (EECs), currently moving into a wider second phase. This research informs and shapes Government policy. CREC reports directly to Government Select Committees and is influential in helping to steer future policy in Early Years education. CREC also has produced reports for OECD and the British Council during 1996-2001.

CREC has been highly successful in attracting externally funded research contracts, through competitive bidding processes. Some examples are given here. CREC has £1,448,830 confirmed external funding for the period 1999-2002. It has been successful in securing funding from the Esmee Fairbairn Charitable Trust and Local Authorities for its Effective Early Learning (EEL) Project (£552,000, 1996-2000). This was a high profile national research project looking at the quality of educational provision in a variety of settings for 3-4 year olds. A major outcome of this work was the development of the ‘EEL Quality Evaluation and Improvement’ materials which are now implemented in over 60 Local Authorities in the UK. The EEL project evaluation methodology has been incorporated into Government Early Years policy.

The DfEE has provided £58,000 for research to inform the Evaluation of its EEC Pilot Scheme and a further £600,000 for CREC to evaluate its EEC Pilot Programme, 1999-2002. Additionally the DfEE provided £73,080 to evaluate childcare support for teenage parents (1999-2002). Another significant research project, ‘Accounting Early for Lifelong Learning’ received £495,000 from Esmee Fairbairn for work 1999-2001. This research asks the question, ‘what constitutes long term and effective outcomes of early learning?’. The project addresses three key research issues:

(a) defining the early characteristics of lifelong learners
(b) designing assessment instruments to measure such attitudes
(c) developing practice to support them.

The project is also researching the attitudes, dispositions and inclinations of young children aged between 3-6 years, towards learning. This Case Study work is informed by the principles of collaborative evaluation and action research.

A further example is the £105,000 from Dudley Education Authority (2000-2002) to undertake an evaluation of their Early Years Development and Childcare Partnership Scheme. The aim of this project is to evaluate the effectiveness of the partnership arrangements, the systems in place and their related functioning.

CREC is an active member and/or collaborator with a number of national organisations and has contributed to their publications. These include: The British Association of Early Childhood Education (Pascal is a Vice President); Early Years Curriculum Group; National Association of Headteachers; National Children’s Bureau; National Primary Trust; and OMEP. International research collaborations are extensive and include projects with: Professor Gammage, Dept. of Education, Training and Employment, South Australia; Professor Laevers, University of Leuven; Professor Frangos, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki; and Professor Zabalza, University of Santiago.

CREC edits and manages EECERA (‘Effective Early Childhood Education Research Association’) and its journal EECERJ. Research in this KRA is linked to a clear education staffing policy to support the research work of staff and contract researchers through an ‘open’ annual seminar programme. e.g. ECHO (‘early childhood organization’) meetings. This helps to support younger and/or newer early childhood researchers. Research staff are integrated into the wider research culture of UCW. There have been four successful doctorates and one MPhil completion (1996-2001) associated with this KRA. Currently there are 9 MPhil and 7 PhD students associated with early childhood research.

CREC has an international research profile. Pascal and Bertram are the founders of the largest Early Childhood Research Association in Europe (EECERA) which draws together a research community from across the world (some 500 researchers) every year at an international conference. These international conferences, which are co-hosted by a European University, have taken place each year for the last 11 years and have been crucial in developing a research discipline for early childhood with a European perspective. It has also been a catalyst for supporting the development of new researchers, new collaborative ventures (University of Leuven, Belgium; University of Thessaloniki, Greece; Unviersity of Braga, Portugal, Queensland University of technology, Austrailia) and generated research income (British Council, OECD etc).

KRA 2: LEARNING and TEACHING

Currently this comprises 13 category A/A* staff and is coordinated by the Dean of Education (Oulton). Some of its work is linked with ‘The Primary English and Children’s Literature Research Centre’, a cross-institutional Centre established in collaboration with the English and Drama departments. Currently it has one MPhil and 7 PhD students. The thrust of work in this KRA is to promote and disseminate, through research and scholarship, theoretical and practical understanding that leads to high quality learning and teaching in schools. Whilst the particular interests of the group are diverse, the pursuit of quality learning and teaching provides a common focus.

The development of its vigorous research culture, the number of research active staff and the quality of their publications, has not been dependent upon large external funding. What KRA 2 demonstrates is that it is an appropriately supportive and responsive research infrastructure that has been the crucial element in helping the area to acquire its current characteristics. There are currently 19 academic staff actively involved in the KRA of whom 13 are entered for this RAE. Another three (Burman, Wilkes and Scott), less experienced researchers, have a total of five publications between them in this RAE period. In addition, a further three (Barnett, Day and Newell) recently appointed staff are actively engaged in research projects. Educations’ investment in the research infrastructure provides such staff with access to expertise and support necessary to enable them to undertake quality research and publications.

Through a series of seminars and other networking activities, the KRA aims to provide a developmental culture that stimulates collaborative research activity. Within the KRA a number of sub-themes are emerging. For example these include the impact of initial teacher education on the quality of students’ work. The research of Martin on the development of Primary PGCE students’ understanding of geography and Oulton’s research in environmental education, as a component of ITE programmes, are examples of this. Both have presented their work at national conferences and Oulton has made a number of presentations at international conferences.

Another emerging research sub-theme is that related to ICT in Primary Education. Fox, Wilkes and Montague-Smith were supported by RAE funds for their research into ICT in primary school mathematics, with specific reference to the National Numeracy Strategy. The research included a review of existing mathematics software, case studies of schools’ current practice and observations of whole-class interactive teaching in the daily mathematics lesson, using materials devised by Fox and hardware supported from RAE funds. The results were published in March 2000 in a joint-authored book. Fox and Wilkes are now addressing the paucity of research in the area of the relationship between the technological possibilities and the specific interactive pedagogy in the National Numeracy Strategy. Also in the area of ICT, a group of Education staff are researching the potential of computer conferencing to support students during school placement.

The introduction of Citizenship (see also KRA 4) is providing a focus for a number of staff interested in the cross-curricular dimensions of the curriculum. Currently two are engaged in a research project funded by the Countryside Foundation for Education (£24,000). They are exploring teachers’ conceptions about and attitudes towards the teaching of controversial issues in the curriculum. Bigger has published (two items entered in this KRA) on values in education (a collaborative project with Brown and with contributions from Jordan, Taylor and others) and on curriculum responses to multicultural issues of race equality. Future work on personal, moral and spiritual education (Bigger) has begun with a collaboration with Erica and Alan Brown, both national and international contributors to this field.

Staff within this KRA research regionally, nationally and internationally. The KRA has conducted regional research on ‘induction’ with the Local Education Authority. Two members of the group working in collaboration with Professor Roger Murphy of Nottingham University, twice undertook the evaluation of the National Curriculum Key Stage 2 assessment process (for SCAA in 1997 and QCA in 1998). Two staff are working closely with the Association for Science Education (ASE), one seconded to ASE to undertake research and development work on ICT to promote effective teaching of science in secondary schools. Internationally there have been projects with partner institutions in China on Citizenship. In 1998 Hughes presented a paper, subsequently published in the journal Music Education Research, at the International Society for Music Education Research in Pretoria, South Africa. Other contributions have been made to national conferences in the area of assessment, business and economics education, and continuing professional development. Papers have been given at international conferences in Austria, China, the Czech republic, Finland, Germany, Greece, Slovakia, Spain, and USA.

Oulton edits a major international refereed journal, considered by many to be the leading journal in its field, ‘Environmental Education Research’, first published in 1995 (Carfax) and distributed in fifty-seven countries. Bates is a key member of the editorial panel of The Journal of In-Service Education (Triangle) regarded as a leader in its field distributed in 65 countries. Bates has represented the journal and presented papers at research conferences such as the European Educational Research Association conference in Frankfurt 1997, Ljubliana 1998, Lahti, Finland 1999 and AERA, New Orleans 2000. Bates was also an editor for the Thematic Network of Teacher Educators in Europe (TNTEE); the first TNTEE Journal (Electronic) was published in 1999.

KRA 3: ACTION and REFLECTION for PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Currently this KRA, coordinated by Professor Ghaye, comprises six category A staff, one post-doctoral researcher and an Honorary Senior Research Fellow. (The submission for Dr. Hamilton-Jones contains 3 quality publications as she is a relatively new member of the KRA.) Support for the KRA has come from the Policy into Practice Research Centre (PiP, Director Professor Ghaye, with Hudson and Clarke). They operate as a coherent group of researchers dedicated to improving policy, workplace culture and actions, through action research and reflective practices. It actively collaborates in research with other departments, especially those in healthcare, on aspects of learning and training. The main client group for KRA 3 research (clients with which it collaborates, from whom it seeks funding and addresses its publications) are those working in public sector, business and voluntary organisations. This KRA represents research into lifetime learning for the post-compulsory, business, healthcare and police sectors. A strong coherence is derived from its commitment to a shared participative research methodologies.

PiP, operating out of the Education Research Office, currently has 17 doctoral students working within the KRA on a P/T or F/T basis, supported by the services and facilities of the Graduate School. Within the current RAE cycle it has had 5 successful PhD completions. Since 1997 the Centre has developed its portfolio extensively, increasing its national and international reputation in action research in lifelong learning through reflection. Dr Elliott is the founder and co-editor of the internationally refereed journal ‘Research in Post-compulsory Education’ published by Triangle. He has published two books in this field, one on vocational education and training, the other on lifelong learning. One of his publications, ‘Teaching in post-compulsory education: profession, occupation or reflective practice?’ was selected alongside papers by Freire, Giroux and Schon as a contribution to a Reader called ‘Teachers and Trainers: theories of action’, (Deakin University Press flexible learning programme). He convened an international conference on ‘Lifelong Learning: Policy, Practice and Possibility’ at UCW in July 1999, attended by 120 delegates from 16 countries. The conference provided a valuable opportunity for newer researchers (e.g. Dr. Suvarna) to present papers. A second international conference on ‘Lifelong Learning: Global Issues and Local Settings’ will be held at UCW in July 2001.

PiP has an international reputation for reflective practice. A long list of publications bears witness to this (e.g. Ghaye, Chambers and Clarke). Professor Ghaye is founder and editor of the international refereed journal Reflective Practice (Carfax) distributed in 36 countries. Ghaye convened the First Carfax International Conference on Reflective Practice at UCW in July 2000, attended by 194 delegates from First and Third World nations. Chambers and Clarke, who network extensively in Europe, convened a European conference at UCW in January 2001 called, ‘Effective Learning through Reflective Practice’, attended by 95 delegates. Three academic texts, derived from these two major conferences, will be published (Falmer) during the next RAE cycle. PiP has recently been invited by the British Olympic Association and the National Coaching Foundation to begin a research and development programme with Britain’s top coaches and elite athletes on the issue of ‘reflective coaching’.

Since 1997 staff in the KRA have been working collaboratively with colleagues in KRA 4 and with NGOs in Mumbai, India (especially Shelter Don Bosco, Vatsalya) in developing a Participatory Action Research project to improve the educative experiences of street children (non-formal education). Currently this project has one post-doctoral, one F/T and one P/T PhD researcher working on it. Staff involved in this project are preparing an academic text called, ‘From child-centred to child-initiated research and action - Learning Lessons from the Street’. It will be published by Sage in 2002.

This KRA has been increasingly successful in attracting externally funded research contracts, through competitive bidding processes. In 1997-8 it secured £85,957 for developing more reflective police officers in the context of the National Police Firearms Training Programme. The KRA research young people’s drug-related behaviours and attitudes (n=8162) which culminated in a presentation to Home Office ministers. Its final report has significantly influenced related policy and practices in the West Midlands. NHS Trusts regional Education and Training Consortia have promised funding of £240,000 over 3 years (Worcestershire, 2001-2003) to research and develop a Learning Framework based upon the processes of reflection to enhance practice. The Black Country Consortium provided £38,000 to evaluate the impact of the Framework. Further funding, from the same source, of £250,000 is secured for three years from April, 2001 to extend this work and also to produce and evaluate an interactive CD-ROM version of the Framework. Research seminars help to integrate researchers and research students into UCW’s wider research culture.

KRA 4: INCLUSION, SUPPORT and EQUITY ISSUES in EDUCATION

Currently this comprises four category A staff, an Honorary Senior Research Fellow (Brown) and one post-doctoral researcher (Dr. Smith). There are 4 MPhil/PhD students registered and working within this area. This KRA has been evolving since 1997 when it was described as ‘Special Educational Needs’. The co-ordinating Senior Research Fellow is Dr. Jones. Work is supported by Professor Peter Pumfrey. Much of its activity is derived from the ‘Centre for Special Education’ which occupies a suite of well-equipped rooms and is staffed by a 0.5 Administrative Assistant. This KRA includes colleagues in UCW’s Equal Opportunities Unit which is actively involved in research and development in both equal opportunities and widening participation, with collaborative projects on both inner-city and rural disadvantage. There are a number of developing staff who are starting their PhD and have attended conferences and jointly presented papers. These expect to be entered in the next submission.

The principle that gives coherence to activities in this KRA is that of social inclusion. This implies that the needs and aspirations of vulnerable members of society are afforded an appropriate and equitable level of support to ensure they achieve their potential. Inclusion education is researched using evaluative and participative methodologies in collaboration with teaching assistants, interveners, communicators and parent volunteers. Staff in this KRA also research with speech therapists, learning support teachers, educational psychologists and social workers. These participants are reflected in the publications submitted. As in KRA 3, there is a multi-professional dimension to the activities of the members of this KRA. Research that explores issues of equality of opportunity and access to educational provision is a key feature of this area.

The Director of the Centre for Special Education is Peter Wakefield (see RA2). It was opened in June 1997 by Baroness Warnock. Since then it has made an increasingly significant contribution to research in the field at regional, national and international levels. A unique resource collection inb special educational needs, donated by David Fulton Publishers was officially opened in July 2000. Fultons have also established their Fulton Fellowship here. The KRA has benefited from the vision and experience of Professor Pumfrey. Pumfrey is Chair of the Research Sub-Committee of the National Association for Special Educational Needs (NASEN) and Chairs the Steering Group of the DfEE-NASEN jointly funded research project on ‘Developing Support for more Inclusive Schooling’. He is also on the Steering Group of the ‘Language and Literacy: Early Years Training Project run under the aegis of the British Dyslexia Association (BDA) and the Association for Speech Impaired Children (AFASIC).

The Centre organises an annual national conference for teaching assistants which is sponsored by David Fulton Publishers. In 2000 the conference was attended by 200 delegates. Other national research conferences organised by KRA staff have focused on IT and Autism, AD/HD and PE for pupils with severe learning difficulties. A number of these events have been organised in conjunction with the NASEN, (the Centre in UCW houses NASEN’s regional branch). The QCA commissioned the Centre to undertake research into school exclusion called, ‘Factors within the curriculum that Account for Exclusion from School’. The outcomes were published and presented at a national conference at Warwick University in 1999.

Some significant research has also been conducted with overseas universities. In 1998 the British Council in Beijing funded a three year protocol between researchers in this KRA and Shandong Teachers’ University, Jinan. Two research projects were initiated: a comparative study of bullying in English and Chinese schools; and an Anglo-Sino study of young people’s knowledge, attitudes and activities in relation to Citizenship (see KRA 2). The culmination of the protocol was a jointly organised international conference in Jinan in April, 2000 called ‘Local Education for the Global Citizen’. Over 1,500 delegates attended. Papers by Jones, Wakefield and Smith were presented: ‘Intervention in Bullying: an action research approach’, ‘ School bullying and children’s attitudes towards the bully/victim: a comparative study’; and ‘A survey of the extent and nature of bullying in Chinese primary and Junior Middle schools’. To consolidate this research arrangement a formal ‘Memorandum of Agreement’ was signed between the two institutions.


KRA staff have been actively involved in the International Special Education Congress (ISEC 2000), a major quinquennial event attended by 1,055 delegates from 98 countries. Members of this KRA organised research symposia on: ‘Bullying in China and UK’, ‘Specific Developmental Dyslexia’, ‘Special Needs Co-ordinators’ Special Educational Needs: tensions and resolutions’, ‘Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties - messages for Teachers’; and ‘Higher Education and Special Educational Needs’. Papers were read by seven staff associated with the KRA. It is planned that this research group will make a significant contribution to ISEC 2005.

This KRA has also been increasingly successful in securing external funding for its research. Dr. Chapman won a contract from HEFCE (Strand 1 Disability Project) for £142,000 in January 2000 to undertake research called ‘Establishing at least base-level provision for students with disabilities and achieving a strategic approach to provision’. A further £37,500 was secured from the same source (Strand 3 Disability Project) in January 2000 for research into ‘Widening participation for disabled students’. In October 2000 staff in this KRA received DfEE funding for a ‘Disability and Employability’ research project. Also internally funded research into the use of Voice Recognition software has begun. This is available on URL:

http://www.worc.ac.uk/services/equalopps/VRproject.htm

Two new researchers to the KRA, Hill and Burns are further developing this highly innovative work. Bigger has contributed a range of research projects, project reports and publications on widening participation – researching issues of race, inner-city deprivation, class, gender (women returners) and special educational needs with projects funded by local authorities and TECs. He includes a book on research methods for these areas, and an ethnographic study of a project in Birmingham. A research collaboration (Bigger and Brown) on staff development with palliative care workers in Acorns Children’s Hospice Trust has begun.

In summary, education has four active research ‘key research areas’ enriched by Research Centres. Each KRA has its own focus, integrity and prime audience, and there is a creative and empowering synergy between research groups. The development of an appropriately supportive and responsive research infrastructure, both in education and through the establishment of a Graduate School, has significantly enhanced both staff publications, the numbers of research active staff submitted and doctoral completions. The period 1996-2001 has proved to be an exciting period of growth, developing a quality infrastructure that is enabling us to sustain research and plan positively for the future. More staff are research active; many others are engaged in Masters, PhD and publishing who will shortly move to research active status. Substantial research funding is being secured.

The forward agenda, 2001-6.
The main objectives in research over the next five years will be to:
1. hold under constant review the quality of the research infrastructure to support staff and research students.
2. nourish a vigorous research culture and sustain research activity within each KRA, involving a greater number of tutors as research active.
3. continue to improve quality publication rates, and leadership through journal editorship and conference contribution
4. bid for a higher level of research funding
5. secure significant and mutually enhancing research collaborations regionally, nationally and internationally.
6. ensure that research in Education plays its part in helping UCW to achieve its corporate vision of establishing a University in Worcestershire.

Users of this website should note that the information is not intended to be a complete record of all research centres in the UK

Copyright 2002 - HEFCE, SHEFC, ELWa, DEL

Last updated 17 October 2003

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