New Team & Summary of 2015’s Achievements
This is a handover blog post to summarise the year’s achievements and introduce our new team…
So what’s happened?
Well first off we formed – no easy feat! Contacting students and academics, cultivating interest and maintaining engagement were the first steps we took. We’re happy to say that our community has grown steadily; events have been well attended and we’ve had active engagement online.
After interest had been established, we realized that the community needed facilitators, so we continued to coordinate HECI’s activities. We initially held a launch with a panel discussion (see Anna’s blog post below) and subsequently held meetings to discuss various topics on issues within higher education. We built this website (and by we I mean Lucas Batt, who should take full credit!), made a Twitter account and started a Facebook group. Whilst the latter has been most popular with HECI members, we hope there will be more use of the other two as well moving forward.
We’d also like to take this opportunity to thank a few members of the academic staff and a couple of students who have really helped to get things going. Thanks to Ian Wei and Richard Pettigrew – who have generously spent a lot of time adding method to our madness! Thanks too to John McTague, Madu Khrishnan, and Ian Burrows, who provided continual support. We’d finally like to thank Marion Galley and Oscar Cunnington, who attended all the HECI meetings and contribute continually to online discussion.
How far have we achieved what we set out to achieve?
Here it’d be helpful to briefly reiterate our aims. Essentially we wanted to form a community of people that stretched across disciplines and included staff and students who were interested in discussing issues in higher education. In this we think we have succeeded! As often with these projects, a core of interested people emerged, many of whom were already involved in similar ventures. As a result, the nature of what we were trying to do shifted to fill a space that other projects weren’t filling; it became an open and neutral forum for people to offer their opinions and discuss issues in higher education. We hope the openness and neutrality of the project is preserved as our HECI continues. For an insight into the sorts of things we have covered see the mindmaps in images on the Facebook group.
Finally, what next?
We, the original founders, are delighted to announce that a new team of organisers has been established and will be running HECI in the academic year 2015/16. They will inevitably have their own ideas about what HECI is for and how it should be run and we look forward to seeing where they go with it. We hope this last year’s members will continue to be involved and that many more people will join. So, introducing…
Grace (coordinating the team, newsletter and calendar)
Alex (coordinating events, fundraising & awareness / engagement)
Angharad (coordinating events, fundraising & social media)
Harry (coordinating discussions)
Nico (coordinating heci.co.uk)
Thanks to everyone who has been a part of HECI so far and good luck to those carrying it forward!
Anna and Harriet