Media release: Lecture to consider the aims of higher education

Prof Neil Simco

AN university professor will explore the purpose of higher education teaching at a free lecture in Inverness this month.

Professor Neil Simco, assistant principal for curriculum growth and acting vice-principal (research) at the University of the Highlands and Islands, will consider whether educators should aim to help learners achieve personal aspirations or if they should focus on meeting national and institutional objectives.

Professor Simco explains: “In a higher education system which is increasingly assessed by institution-level metrics, how should educators take account of the interests and ambitions of individual students in their approaches to teaching?

“At the heart of this question is a consideration of the purpose of learning and teaching in higher education. Is it primarily to support the personal development and aspirations of individuals in their own right or is principally concerned with the need to meet the national requirements of growing economies?

“I will explore the idea that a metrics driven approach is a necessary, but incomplete, measure of the success of higher education. Recognising students as individuals should also be a key factor in defining institutional success.”

Professor Simco’s inaugural professorial lecture, ‘Having the cake and eating it: meeting the needs of individuals within contemporary higher education teaching and learning’, will take place from 5.15pm to 7.15pm on Wednesday 25 October at Inverness College UHI.

Attendees will also be able to join by video conference. To book or find out more, visit


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