Keynote: Integrating research and teaching: Education for an unknown future

Speaker: Professor Angela Brew

What kind of future are we preparing our students for? To increase engagement of students in research and inquiry is to work towards a higher education where future professionals, industrialists, politicians and academics go beyond learning disembodied knowledge at university and are prepared to cope with the ambiguous and uncertain demands of their future. In this context, efforts to integrate research and teaching have become imperative.

However, integrating research and teaching challenges us to rethink many of our traditions and practices. How we translate research into learning experiences depends on what we, as individual researchers and teachers and as an institution, think research is, and how we understand research-based learning. It also depends on what we think we are doing when we’re teaching and what we understand students to be capable of. The spread of research integrated teaching practices is also dependent upon institutional barriers being removed.

I have been carrying out investigative work regarding best practice in bringing research and teaching together in Australia and elsewhere, and gathering examples of different ways in which the links between teaching and research are being strengthened. In this presentation, I will draw on some of my recent research to illustrate different ways that academics think about research, different understandings of undergraduate research, and different ideas about research-based learning. I will demonstrate how different conceptualisations lead to different forms of undergraduate research, and argue that while some forms merely preserve the status quo, others lead to radically transforming higher education. I will encourage the audience to reflect on their own ideas and to think about how they can develop new forms of undergraduate engagement in research that meet the demands of the future.


Angela Brew PhD, is Emeritus Professor, Macquarie University, Sydney Australia. She is the Chair of the Australasian Council for Undergraduate Research (ACUR). She is an elected Fellow of the UK’s Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE), and a Life Member of the Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia (HERDSA). She was President of HERDSA from 1999-2003 and co-editor of the International Journal for Academic Development from 2000-2008. She holds degrees in philosophy, sociology and organisational development.

In 2009, Angela Brew was awarded a prestigious National Teaching Fellowship from the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) to enhance undergraduate engagement by involving them in research and inquiry. From 1995-2008, she worked at the University of Sydney where she led strategic projects developing the scholarship of teaching and learning, research-enhanced learning and teaching, and research higher degree supervision.

She has published seven books and over 250 refereed journal articles, book chapters, conference papers and reports. Her research is focused on the nature of research and its relation to teaching, learning and scholarship, models of research-led teaching and undergraduate research. Her books include: The Nature of Research: Inquiry in Academic Contexts (RoutledgeFalmer 2001); Research and Teaching: beyond the divide (PalgraveMacmillan 2006); Transforming a University: The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Practice (University of Sydney Press 2007, with Sachs); and Academic Research and Researchers (McGraw Hill 2009, with Lucas).

Keynote Panopto video recording (University of York login required)

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