Edition Overview

By Stephen Bampfylde

The outside perspective should not be underestimated. It can bring clarity to confusion and innovative thinking to a traditional approach. In the higher education sector, both in the UK and internationally, this outside-in, and indeed inside-out, view assists an evolutionary process and encourages the sector to move away from isolation to collaboration.

When we look at how higher education is developing right across the world, we see a greater variety of institutions, disciplines and models being introduced. No longer purely the preserve of the academic, we are witnessing a spirit of partnership and cooperation that is spreading across many different sectors. This positive collision and cohesion of different disciplines is not only enhancing the modern learning experience, but greatly improving the wider political, economic, cultural and physical world in which we live.

We should always be looking beyond our boundaries to generate improved outcomes for as many as possible. In the spirit of collaboration and the chance to learn from outside perspectives, particularly the impact it can have in higher education and beyond, we bring you this edition of CANVAS.

We have the pleasure of including two profile interviews, following different beginnings and career paths, but both offering hugely interesting insights and innovative approaches to evolving higher education, its wider context in the UK and internationally. Firstly, we talk to Professor Bashir Makhoul. Born in Palestine and originally coming to the UK speaking very little English, he has spent 26 years here studying and working. An internationally renowned artist, Bashir is also an academic and last year was appointed as Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Creative Arts. Looking at his varied life and career, he explains why a strong relationship between the arts and academia can foster a wealth of opportunities for so many.

We also talk to Martin Bean who, after more than 20 years working outside Australia, has returned to his hometown as Vice-Chancellor of Melbourne’s esteemed RMIT University. In a career that has always had education at its heart, Martin explains why it is so important for the sector to embrace the benefits of technology and industry partnerships, and bring them to wider society.

In addition, we include insights from Hamish Laing at Saxton Bampfylde about the importance of looking beyond the individual to an organisation’s collective goal to help to identify, nurture and strengthen the best leaders within the higher education sector. Finally, we welcome Sarah Magnell, Partner at Cordiner King, one of the firms in the Panorama network, for our team profile and to offer insight on the HE sector in Australia.

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