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Improving Teaching & Learning: Stories from the West of Scotland

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Wed, Sept. 19, 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
Freeman Commons, Humphrey School of Public Affairs
RSVP to heapx004@umn.edu

Join us for coffee and conversation as Professor Malcolm Foley shares his experience in helping transform the culture of teaching and learning at the University of the West of Scotland, Scotland's largest university. Foley is both Vice Principal for Learning and Teaching and Executive Dean of Business and Creative Industries at the University of the West of Scotland (UWS). Scotland has a vibrant economy and culture in part because of its strong and sustained efforts in support of higher education, open access, and major student financial support. He is also eager to learn from American academics and students what they think the important current and emerging issues are in teaching and learning at all levels.

***RSVP to heapx004@umn.edu***

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About Malcolm Foley
Malcolm Foley holds the University Chair in Leisure Cultures. Prior to an academic career, he was a research analyst for a large consumer goods manufacturer, then a public administrator.UWS is Scotland's largest University. It has a strong social mission which puts it at the forefront of recruiting students who might not otherwise have the opportunity to enter Higher Education in Scotland. UWS supports the Scottish Government's aim to have 50% of all of it's young people in Higher Education. This element of the student population, together with a relatively high proportion of the learners being aged over 30 years and over 35% of them studying on a part-time basis, presents significant challenges for the pedagogies to be adopted and designed into student learning at UWS. As one of a university leadership team of 4, Malcolm has been tasked to develop and implement a strategy that ensures effective learning and positive engagement for all of the student population at UWS, whilst ensuring the maintenance of academic quality and standards. (For those unaware of the public policy environment in Scotland, undergraduate higher education is provided "free" and is state funded - but student numbers are highly regulated by agencies of the state. Perhaps as a result of inhabiting this environment, Malcolm has a specific interest in the tensions between managerialism and governance in universities.)

As a full Professor at UWS and at previous Universities, Malcolm Foley has published extensively across the fields of leisure and culture as they both produce, and reproduce, socially "desirable" outcomes. Previous interests include operationalising the concept of Dark Tourism (touristic experiences associated with death and disaster). His specific interest in that concept was the role of nation states in promoting and promulgating their sites of conflict. He has also published and professed more recently upon public policies for / governmental interventions in festivity - ranging from highly localised and small scale events to Mardi Gras, Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, the Olympic Games, motor racing and festivals of "high" culture. He has a particular interest in the reactions, resistances and reconciliations that take place in local communities when festivities (of whatever scale) occur. Malcolm also has a recreational interest in the heritage and detritus of American popular culture from the era when the USA might be described as having been a "consumer republic" - an epoch which was so highly romanticised and eulogised during the Reagan and first Bush administrations.

Malcolm is currently reading Dominic Sandbrook's biography of Senator Eugene McCarthy (Sandbrook, D [2005] Eugene McCarthy and the Rise and Fall of Postwar American Liberalism, Anchor Books) in preparation for visiting Minnesota.

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