Media Release: Education expert to give free lecture

Keith Smyth

AN expert in online learning and technology in education will give a free public lecture in Inverness next month.

Keith Smyth, Professor of Pedagogy at the University of the Highlands and Islands, will explore the idea of ‘third space’ in relation to universities, learning communities and digital educational practices.

Says a spokesperson: “The concept of ‘third space’ refers to physical locations (such as community centres, cafes and church halls) which allow people to congregate for democratic discussion, community action and creative expression.

“It can also refer to online spaces for interaction and collaboration.”

Professor Smyth explains: “The idea of ‘third space’ has become central to current thinking in education, particularly around inclusive educational practice, community engagement and online learning.

“I will draw on current and emerging research to explore the potential of universities as third spaces in their communities and the creation of third spaces for collaborative learning.

“I will also consider what third space might mean for universities and programmes of study which are distributed across many locations.”

Professor Clive Mulholland, principal and vice-chancellor of the university, said: “We’re very much looking forward to Professor Smyth’s lecture.

“This area of research is particularly relevant to rural communities like the Highlands and Islands and is also of much importance to the work of our university.

“With sites around the Highlands and Islands, we aim to combine innovative approaches to education with cutting-edge technology to provide our students with engaging learning experiences wherever they are based.”

Professor Smyth’s inaugural professorial lecture, ‘It’s Third Space, Jim, but not as we know it: universities, community and digital practice’, will take place from 5:15pm to 7pm at the University of the Highlands and Islands Executive Office at Ness Walk, Inverness, on Tuesday 12 May. It will also be available by video conference.

To find out more and book a place, visit


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University of the Highlands and Islands contact details…

Contact: Alison Lochhead
Phone: 01463279222