Keynote Speakers


Plenary 1. Dynamic Perspectives on Creativity in Higher Education (Wednesday 11th)

     Professor Lene Tangaard


Plenary 2. Preparing critical students for the post-truth era, Key Research Questions (Thursday 12th)

     Chair: Neil Harrison, University of Oxford

     Foluke Adebisi, University of Bristol, 
     Ibrar Bhatt, Queen’s University Belfast,
     Elizabeth Hauke, Imperial College


Closing debate: Creativity, Criticality and Conformity: The Impact of Competition on Research (Friday 13th)

     Professor Rajani Naidoo

     Ian Jamieson

Professor Lene Tanggaard
Professor of Psychology, 
Director of The International
Centre for the Cultural
Psychology of Creativity (ICCPC),
University of Aalborg, Denmark

Plenary 1: Wednesday 11th December
Dynamic Perspectives on Creativity in Higher Education

In her Keynote, Professor Lene Tanggaard will set the scene for the conference by fuelling discussions on the dilemmas, the challenges and key opportunities in working with creativity in education broadly and in higher education more specifically. Tanggaard will present basic definitions of creativity and related terms such as invention and innovation, together with their possible roles as concepts in a higher educational setting. Our speaker will invite us to adopt more dynamic perspectives on creativity, focusing on the central role of faculty and staff relationships in the development of creativity at an organizational level in departments and in teaching and research units. The difference between teaching creatively versus teaching for creativity will be outlined, and Tanggaard will present her own teaching model for creativity applied in a university setting, meeting a central concern of how to enable students to take part in creative communities as part of their education.

Lene Tanggaard is Professor of Psychology in the Department of Communication and Psychology at the University of Aalborg, Denmark, where she serves as Vice Head of Department, advisor for several Ph.D.-students, Director of The International Centre for the Cultural Psychology of Creativity (ICCPC), and co-director of the Center for Qualitative Studies, a network of more than 90 professors and researchers concerned with methodology and development of new research tools ( She is regional editor of The International Journal of Qualitative Research in Education. Publications include: Glaveanu, V. P., Tanggaard, L. & Wegener, C. (2016), Creativity: A new vocabulary Palgrave Macmillan and Tanggaard, L. (2018). Creativity in Higher education: Apprenticeship as a ‘thinking-model’ for bringing back more dynamic, teaching and research in a university context. I J. Valsiner, A. Lutsenko, & A. Antoniouk (red.), Sustainable Futures for Higher Education: The making of knowledge makers (pp. 263-277). Schweitzerland: Springer. Cultural Psychology of Education.

Closing debate . Creativity, criticality and conformity: the impact of competition (Friday 13th)

Rajani Naidoo and Ian Jamieson take opposing sides on the question of whether competition supports or hinders creativity and its impact on criticality and conformity in research. The session begins with a shared understanding that competition is a social construction, and that a variety of forms of competition exist in higher education with significant consequences for research.

The speakers then deviate sharply from each other with Rajani Naidoo drawing on insights from political economy, sociology and psychoanalysis to illuminate how competition has become a fetish amplified by political, economic and affective mechanisms, and how different forms of competition work together perversely to encourage bland conformity. She focusses in particular on how competition erodes the global knowledge commons and forecloses knowledge reservoirs and pathways of discovery for future generations.

Ian Jamieson combines research insights from education and his experience in a senior leadership position to argue that competition, particularly related to meritocracy, is at the heart of creativity in higher education. He draws on Bourdieu’s concept of scientific capital to show how competition between scholars drives forward innovation in higher education. Deploying his experience as a senior manager, he suggests that competition, adjudicated by peer review, is the fairest system we have for allocating rewards to individuals and institutions, and that market competition, when adequately regulated, provides additional resources for creativity to flourish.

The questions put to the audience at the end of this debate are 1) What are your experiences of the impact of competition on creativity, criticality and conformity? How should we as researchers and research managers, individually and collectively, respond to growing competition in higher education?

Professor Rajani Naidoo
Prosessor in Higher Education
Director of the Centre for Higher
Education Management (ICHEM),
School of Management,
University of Bath, UK 

Closing debate. Friday 13th
Creativity, criticality and conformity: the impact of competition

Rajani Naidoo is Professor and Director of the International Centre for Higher Education Management in the School of Management at the University of Bath. She is also Visiting Professor, Critical Studies in Higher Education Transformation at Nelson Mandela University, South Africa. She researches transformations in global political economy and change in higher education with a focus on competition and markets, new forms of imperialism, the changing nature of academic work and the contribution of universities to global wellbeing. She has delivered keynotes in a wide range of countries and presented the 2016 Annual Worldviews lecture in Canada. She has acted as expert advisor to international bodies and has participated in research programmes relating to social justice, the public good and the academic profession. She sits on the research and development steering committee of the European Foundation for Management Development and on editorial boards including the British Journal of Sociology of Education, Philosophy and Theory in Higher Education and the International Journal of Sociology of Education. She co-edits the book series Global Higher Education (Palgrave/Macmillan) and African Higher Education Dynamics (African Minds). 

Ian Jamieson
Director, Chambers and Jamieson
Associates Educational Consultancy,
Fellow of the Academy
of Social Sciences, UK

Closing debate. Friday 13th
Creativity, criticality and conformity: the impact of competition

Ian Jamieson is a Director in Chambers and Jamieson Associates Educational Consultancy and Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. He has served as interim Deputy Chief Executive for the Higher Education Academy, as an auditor of the UK Quality Assurance Agency and is also an overseas auditor for South Africa and Hong Kong. In addition, he has acted as non-executive director of UCAS, the UK university admissions agency, and sat on the UK Funding Council's main committee on teaching, quality and the student experience. Previously he was Professor of Education and Pro Vice Chancellor at the University of Bath. He has published over 90 papers and five books, mostly about various aspects of education. He was the founder and first editor of the Journal of Education and Work. His research interests include leadership, quality assurance, the relationship between education and work, pedagogy, innovation and leadership. In 2009 he was awarded an OBE in the Queen's New Year Honours for services to local and national higher education.


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