Oxford Higher Education Business Summit


Charlotte Harrison and Alex Tymon presented a discussion paper at this 2 day conference in Oxford at the start of September 2016 entitled `Evaluating an employabilityresearch project`. Charlotte and Alex challenged some of the conference theme assumptions surrounding university and business collaboration and justified the development of longer-term sustainable careers for students. 

The conference featured a number of high profile speakers and panel discussions including: Iain Wright MP - Chair of the Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee; Sir AnthonySeldon VC, University of Buckingham; David Sweeney - Director of Research, Education and Knowledge Exchange at HEFCE; Gordon McKenzie - Chief Executive, GuildHE; Stephen Ishwerwood - Chief Executive, AGR;  Professor Ray Land - Durham university and Peter Cheese - Chief Executive of the CIPD.

Leading academic accepts the role of Chair to British Standards Institute (BSI) committee

Dr Valerie Anderson has accepted a role to Chair a British Standards Institute (BSI) committee to oversee the development of a BSI Published Document (BS 76006): A Guide to Learning and Development. Once this work is completed it may have important implications for pedagogy and curriculum in the learning and development/HRD field.

BAM and BERG workshop: June 2016

On Monday 20th June BERG co-hosted a British Academy of Management (BAM) workshop.  The event was titled 'The Digital Classroom' but took a different format than most such events. In an attempt to stimulate real discussion and attract digital sceptics as well as supports the day was framed as a debate. The motion was: `Technology is essential to enhance learning`

‌The day was opened by the chair of the BAM Knowledge and Learning Special Interest group, Len Holmes.  Then two key note speakers spoke for and against the motion. Dr Phil Richards, Chief Innovation Officer of Jisc, spoke animatedly about `Learning Analytics` in favour of the motion.  Dr Tansey Jessop, Professor of Research Informed Teaching at Southampton Solent University gave an entertaining and thoughtful presentation against the motion, highlighting the importance of considered programme design, assessment and feedback.

The delegates then split into parallel sessions to further explore the thoughts of the key note speakers and argue and debate the motion, before returning at the end of the day for a grand vote.  These were facilitated by BERG members: Alex Tymon, Valerie Anderson and Alan Tait, alongside Steve Wheeler, Associate Professor in ICT, Plymouth University.   David Starkey, who led the organising team, ensured time for networking was included in the programme and sessions were run in the TEAL rooms and simulation suite to showcase the business school facilities.

Business Education Research Group (BERG) members undertake high quality and relevant business education, research and scholarship.

BERG’s purpose is to promote high quality and relevant business education research, scholarship and evaluation. Members share a commitment to engaging in interdisciplinary research and evidence based practice within the University, with academic professionals in other HEIs and with employers. BERG is establishing a position at the forefront of business education research in UK and its members, with different levels of experience and expertise in learning, teaching and in research, work as a scholarly ‘community of practice’. The group is inclusive and welcomes new members from both within Portsmouth University and beyond.

International Conference papers


Margaret Mackay and Alex Tymon both presented papers at the International Conference for Educational Research and Innovation (ICERI) in Seville in November.  This truly global conference of more than 700 delegates has a broad range of streams including technology enhanced learning, educational leadership, teaching practice and learning theory. 


Writing Workshop

BERG members participated in a writing workshop on 9th November 2016. The session began with the sharing of expert views, when three more experienced researchers presented lessons and tips gained from previous external workshops and speakers, including Yehuda Baruch and Rowena Murray. However the main focus of the event was `let it flow`, which participants did by joining in with timed writing activities. Feedback from the event was very positive, for example one attendee said `I honestly cannot say how valuable I found it`. The group have now decided to maintain the enthusiasm and momentum by trialling a monthly writing club using a similar format.


BERG welcomes researchers from Australia

A research team from the University of Queensland was hosted at the University of Portsmouth Business School this August.  The team, Andrea Reid, Anna Richards and their cameraman Matthew, met with members of BERG who research into graduate employability: Alex Tymon, Karen Knibbs and Charlotte Harrison. The Queensland team are producing a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) aimed at both students and staff in Australia with the aim on enhancing employability and were keen to gain an international perspective. 
Photo: Anna, Alex, Charlotte and Andrea. 

BERG welcomes researchers

The BERG members were interviewed on their views and research and will feature in the MOOC.  Alex Tymon, BERG coordinator, facilitated the visit and also organised access to Purple Door so that the support offered by Julia Hughes and her team could be promoted. The Australian team was very impressed with the support and services offered to students at UoP and it is hoped this visit will stimulate future collaborative research. 

Photo: Julia, Anna, Andrea and Matthew


Database project

Dr Valerie Anderson, along with colleagues from Roehampton University, Surrey University and Liverpool John Moore University, recently completed a project to develop the first database of UK based HRD post-graduate programmes. This resource can be accessed from: http://www.ufhrd.co.uk/wordpress/teaching-learning/

BERG members contribute to BAM


The British Academy of Management held its 29th annual conference at the university of Portsmouth this September and several BERG members were involved.  Karen Knibbs, Judith Fletcher-Brown and Karen Middleton ran a professional Development Workshop on 'Employagility' and Judith Fletcher-Brown and Karen Middleton ran a professional Development Workshop on 'Employagility' and Judith and Karen also presented a paper in the Gender in Management rack. Sasa Batistic presented three papers in different tracks, one with Alex Tymon. Alex also presented a paper with Margaret MacKay on 'Business Buccaneers' and chaired a session in the Leadership and Leadership Development track. We were also delighted to be joined by Jeff Gold, the BERG visiting professor, who presented two papers.