HIEST seminar 13 Dec 2023: Melina Aarnikoivu, Andrew Gibson and John Walsh

 The role and power of individual academics in building the European post-pandemic university

In RUU E314 Isa; to attend online please register here.

Presentation summary:
In this paper (in progress), we explore the post-pandemic university, with a focus on Europe. Drawing from our research and experiences in Finnish and Irish higher education systems, we discuss how the post-pandemic university might, ideally, look like. We base our work on the concepts of care and power as empowerment and influence. First, we envision an ideal post-pandemic university, inspired by Corbera et al.'s (2020) guidelines for academic practice during crises, and the "Triple S" heuristic (caring for Science, Society, and Self), conceptualised by Sellberg et al. (2021). We then problematise the role of individual academics in shaping the university, acknowledging the limitations of individual efforts. Empirically, we draw on existing research on Covid-19 and care, our own work, and experiences of working in several European universities before, during, and after the pandemic. Our paper balances between hope and despair about academia's future, emphasising the importance of collectively working towards creating a more sustainable, respectful, and caring university.

Presenters: Melina Aarnikoivu, Andrew Gibson, and John Walsh

Presenter background: Dr Melina Aarnikoivu is an affiliated postdoctoral researcher at the Finnish Institute for Educational Research and a Skills Teacher at the University of Groningen Language Centre. In her research and teaching, she currently focuses on academic writing, publishing, and community-building.

Dr Andrew Gibson is an Assistant Professor at the Trinity College Dublin, and Dr John Walsh is an Associate Professor at the Trinity College Dublin.