Centre for the Study of Higher Education

Centre for the Study of Higher Education

Supporting educational excellence

Located in the Education Directorate, the Centre for the Study of Higher Education supports educational excellence across the university through practice-relevant research, a suite of research-informed professional development programmes for Kent staff members, opportunities for postgraduate study, and a varied programme of research seminars and conferences.

Our academic staff also offer consulting, workshops, and resources directly to course leaders and course teams to address strategic educational issues. In 2023-24, our consultancy service focuses on supporting course redesign associated with achieving the Kent 2030 vision, implementing the University’s new Assessment and Feedback Policy, and creating a more racially inclusive environment to reduce awarding gaps. 

Underpinned by educational research expertise

CSHE academic staff are recognised nationally and internationally for their expertise in translating their own and others’ research into practical enhancements in higher education. Our programmes and services are underpinned by research in three strategic research themes that contribute to teaching excellence at Kent and beyond:

  1. Teaching, learning, assessment, feedback, and students’ experiences in higher education.
  2. Academic practice and how to support, recognise and reward academics, particularly for teaching excellence.
  3. Education in particular disciplines.

We specialise in researching the experiences of marginalised students and staff. We also have internationally excellent expertise in action research, a unique, cyclical model for simultaneously changing practice and researching the impacts of those changes.

Findings from our own research – often carried out at the University of Kent – are:

  • woven into our sector-leading Associate Fellowship and Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education programmes for early career university teachers,
  • help shape educational policy at Kent, and
  • inform the content and design of consultancies with teams.

CSHE also serves as a hub for education research across the university, encouraging a scholarly approach to teaching enhancement across the university. For example, our unique Leadership in Education and Academic Practice (LEAP) Programme (staff only link) fosters scholarship and leadership amongst education-focused academic staff working on strategic educational enhancement projects within their own Schools or Divisions. 

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