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Seminar: 21st Century Curriculum – Reimagining Higher Education Futures

October 14, 2019 @ 3:15 pm - 5:00 pm

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In the face of increasing disruption to our societies and the world of work, universities across the globe are being challenged to re-imagine the education they offer for an increasingly uncertain future. This has repositioned conversations about curriculum at the centre of universities’ transformation agendas.

Those conversations increasingly emphasise the need for new structures to support the agile development of new knowledge and expertise, authentic learning (often with external partners), and the important role of developing transdisciplinary ‘capabilities’ to complement discipline expertise. These curriculum strategies are intended to equip graduates to navigate shifts in their professions and an unpredictable employment landscape. However, our curriculum should also be designed to equip our graduates, as the leaders of tomorrow, with the dispositions and capabilities to build a more just and equitable society. Our graduates will be tasked as citizen scholars to solve the increasingly unsolvable world crisis we have bequeathed them.

The increasingly rapid changes in the world of work, driven by economic, industrial and social changes, fuelled by the rapid development of technology and artificial intelligence are now familiar to many of us. However, the curriculum responses of universities are perhaps less well thought-through and understood.

Nowhere in Australia is the disruption in work and society more apparent than in the region of Australia’s largest city known as ‘Greater Western Sydney’. This seminar will share how Western Sydney University is approaching the challenge of curriculum transformation in a competitive higher education market, to deliver on its mission for its students, and its commitment as an anchor institution for a region. Participants will be invited to consider how the capabilities required for the future of work align with the ‘purpose’ of higher education and to explore how universities’ unique concentration of deep disciplinary diversity and their extensive networks of partnerships, might be put to work to foster the critical and creative abilities to collaboratively transform and apply knowledge in the future.


Professor Simon Barrie is currently the Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor and Vice President (Academic) at Western Sydney University. He is responsible for the leadership of strategic educational innovation and collaboration to shape the University’s commitment to ensuring its students fulfil their potential to become influential global citizen-scholars in a new technology-enabled world. His expertise is in innovatively engaging university communities to deliver new ways to enact the ‘idea of the university’ in a rapidly changing world. Professor Barrie has worked in the field of Higher Education for over 30 years and is an award-winning teacher with an international reputation for his research on the transformative potential of higher education.

The presentation will be followed by Q&A, attendees are then welcome to continue their conversations with Professor Barrie at the Hawthorns cafe.


Life Sciences Building
G13/G14 Seminar Room
Bristol, BS8 1TQ United Kingdom
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Bristol Institute for Learning and Teaching