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Successful launch of the Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education

On Tuesday 22 January the Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education was launched at a well attended event at Kingston Hill. The event was hosted by Professor Fiona Ross, dean of Health, Social Care and Education and Andy Hudson, head of the School of Education.Faculty Launch

Guests were welcomed by professor Peter Kopelman, principal of St George’s, University of London who congratulated Kingston on the new partnership. Guest speakers were Professor John Furlong of Oxford University and Professor Diane Marks-Maran, who is a visiting professor in the existing Faculty.

John FurlongJohn gave a thought-provoking keynote speech on education as the anatomy of discipline. “We’ve got to open our research up to other disciplines,” he said. “My experience is that education is getting narrower and narrower and I think that’s a huge problem. We need to broaden our research agenda and here is of course where your new faculty can help.

“We need to recognise the centrality of research to the university project. I think that is very important for your new faculty here. Only if faculties develop a strong, inclusive research culture can we ensure that, as a community, we maintain that maximisation of reason, that contestability of knowledge as our core value. When core teaching gets undertaken by staff who are on other contracts, e.g. hourly paid lecturers, or are excluded from this, it actually undermines us all and it undermines our claim to be able to do something that is distinctive.”

DJ MARKSIn a heartfelt presentation Di Marks-Maran said she is excited about Education joining Health and Social Care. Di, had been a primary school teacher before she was a nurse. “I think I always knew, even in the early days of my nurse training that I would probably end up teaching it,” she said. “What I didn’t know then is that I would end my career as an educational researcher. So today the coming together of Education with Health and Social Care is particularly important to me, as it’s almost like coming home.”

Speaking of the faculty’s achievements Di said: “We have a growing reputation for our pedagogy and for innovation in teaching and researching that pedagogy. We have a great opportunity now to become a centre of excellence in the scholarship of teaching in health social work and education.”

In his closing speech, Vice-Chancellor Julius Weinberg likened education to a “miracle cure” for many of today’s medical problems, including child mortality and mental health issues, saying it made sense to bring together education, health and social work in the new faculty. He said the disciplines could learn much from each other and that one of his ambitions for the University was that it would become renowned for being thoughtful and critical about education. He added that marriage between Education and Health and Social Care will be one of the key drivers in doing this. “Speaking of a marriage between two entities that are not a man and a woman is going to get me in deep theological trouble,” he said. “But I think this has already been shown to be an extraordinary civil partnership.”