Change has proved to be one of the enduring themes of my professional life. Throughout my career I have changed organisations/roles every 2 to 5 years (although I just reached 6 years in my current role!)
This page documents some of the work I have undertaken during the second part of my career when higher education became my field of work and study.
The ways in which change has featured in these roles includes:
* as an observer and reporter of change in higher education institutions
* as a system or institution level evaluator and researcher on the effects of change
* as a developer of policy aimed at bringing about change in higher education
* as a leader and facilitator of change within and outwith higher education
I have been very fortunate in the organisations I have worked for, the roles I have had and the people I have worked with.
Her Majesty's Inspector, Department for Education
HMI assessed the quality and standards of public sector (Polytechnics and Colleges) educational provision through direct observation and inspection and advised the Secretary of State for Education on the performance of the system nationally.
Role: The HMI role carried considerable responsibility and required a combination of specialist knowledge and general knowledge of the education system and in the evaluation through an evidence based approach of quality and standards.
* Over 80 inspection reports and contributed to some twenty published reports.
* A major report describing the impact of research and other professional activities on the higher education experiences of students (Not published due to political sensitivity because it conflicted with government policy on research selectivity)
*Compiled the evidence base for the 1991/92 higher education section of HMI's annual report.
* Published a report on geoscience education and training in the polytechnics and colleges.
* Principal author of the consultative report, "Review of Earth Science Degrees," issued by the Geological Society, (Professional Body).
I successfully completed the Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education) course which qualified me to participate in the Schools Inspection programme although I never did this - thank goodness.
Reporting Assessor Higher Education Funding Council (England) Short term Contract
The Higher Education Funding Council for England was the body responsible for funding teaching and learning and has statutory responsibility for the quality and standards of the education it funded.
Role: as a Reporting Assessor I was responsible for managing a team of Subject Assessors, planning and conducting one of the first Quality Assessments (in Chemistry) and preparing the unpublished Institutional Feedback Report and the published Assessment Report. Part of my contract involved the structured analysis of Institutional Self‑Assessment documents in Chemistry and preparing evaluation reports for the Funding Council and consideration of appeals.
1993-1995 Head of the Quality Evaluation & Enhancement Unit University of Plymouth
The University of Plymouth is a medium sized regional (SW England) University with its roots in the Polytechnic system.
Role:I established a centre for the evaluation and enhancement of academic practice. I acted as the university's 'critical friend': a role I created and developed in order to enable the university to delegate more responsibility for quality assurance to faculties. I was responsible for managing the unit and developing a portfolio of work relating to the core activities of:
*Academic audit (testing the performance of Faculty based quality assurance arrangements).
* Enquiry (penetrative and constructive investigations into serious problems or policy related matters).
* Quality assessment (preparing and supporting departments for external subject review – including subject self-evaluations).
These accountability functions were combined with a range of activities designed to enhance the institutions capacity to evaluate its own academic performance.
During the two years I held the post I : established the function and managed the two members of staff
* Developed and successfully applied audit and enquiry policies in an environment that was, at least initially, hostile to the idea of audit.
* Prepared the university for two HEQC audits and co-ordinated its response.
* Assisted departments in seven HEFCE Quality Assessment visits (four excellent and three satisfactory ratings).
* Developed a University Charter for Students
* Developed, piloted, evaluated and implemented a University-wide Student Perception Questionnaire aimed at gaining feedback on their learning experience.
* Helped to resurrect the university's teaching and learning newsletter and edited two issues of the newsletter.
* Developed a 'learning from audit' series of pamphlets designed to disseminate good practice and highlight problem areas identified through internal audit.
This role helped me discover that my passion lay in enhancement rather than quality assurance and the things I had done enabled me to secure my next job with HEQC.
Assistant Director, Quality Enhancement Group Higher Education Quality Council
HEQC was established in 1992 to improve the capacity of HE to regulate itself. It had two primary functions : an audit function and an enhancement function. I joined the Quality Enhancement Group in March 1995 (part-time) and full-time from August 1995. The organisation was replaced by QAA in August 1997.
Role: As an Assistant Director I was responsible for: a self-determined programme of work that embraced basic research, mapping and survey work, consultation, creation and drafting of policy, practical development work in new areas, advising institutions, disseminating practice through publications, conference presentations and inputs to institutional workshops and seminars.
Assistant Director Development Quality Assurance Agency
QAA was established in 1997. It is responsible for developing and managing the quality assurance regime that all institutions of higher education are subject to. Its functions include the review of institutional quality assurance arrangements and the review of the quality of education at subject level.
Role: as a member of the Development Directorate Icontributed to the development of a national quality assurance framework based on recommendations made in the Dearing Review published in 1997. From 1998 I worked half-time.
During my time with QAA I developed -
Overseas activity: I made two invited visits to South Africa sponsored by the British Council to participate in conferences and institutional workshops. Reports of the visits are lodged with the British Council in South Africa.
Jackson N J (ed)(1998) Pilot Studies in Benchmarking of Assessment Practice. Quality Assurance
1998-2003 Senior Research Fellow (0.5) Department of Educational Studies
University of Surrey
The University is a pre-92 technological institution with a strong research ethos.Between May 1998 and December 2003 I held a half-time appointment in the Department of Educational Studies. My research and scholarship (rated 4 in the 2002 RAE exercise) contributed to a Research Centre that is organised around the theme of Policy and Change in HE.
My scholarly outputs are listed below.
Jackson N.J. and Lund H. (2000) Benchmarking for Higher Education. Society for Research in Higher Education/ OU Press
Jackson N J 1997 Evolution of Quality Assurance in UK Higher Education 1987-1997 and beyond: creating a regulatory framework for a mass system. Paper to a conference on International Approaches to Quality Assurance, University of Durban-Westville, June 1997, South Africa
Jackson N J 1997 Implications of the Dearing Report for Academic Standards in Geoscience Education. Geoscience v7 no10 9-15
Jackson N J 1997 Academic Regulation in UK Higher Education: Part I the concept of collaborative regulation. Quality Assurance in Education. vol 5 120-135
Jackson N J 1997 Academic Regulation in UK Higher Education: Part II -typologies and frameworks for discourse and strategic change. Quality Assurance in Education. vol 5 165 – 179 (MCB Publishers prize for best QAE article in 1997)
Jackson N J 1998 Academic Regulation in UK Higher Education: Part III -the concept of partnership in trust. Quality Assurance in Education. v6 5-18.
Jackson N J 1998 Understanding Standards-based Quality Assurance Part I: rationale and conceptual basis. Quality Assurance in Education v6 132-140
Jackson N J 1998 Understanding Standards-based Quality Assurance Part II: nuts and bolts of the Dearing policy framework. Quality Assurance in Education v6 220-231
Jackson N J 1998 Potential role of credit in supporting a system of threshold standards in HE. In M Armstrong, P Clarkson and M Noble (eds) Modularity and credit frameworks the NUCCAT survey and 1998 conference report. Northern Universities Consortium for Credit, Access and Transfer.
Jackson N J 1998 Introduction to Benchmarking Assessment Practice. Managing Quality and Standards in UK Higher Education. Pilot Studies in Benchmarking of Assessment Practice. Quality Assurance Agency Gloucester p3-8
Jackson N J 1998 Pilot Benchmarking Study of Assessment Practice in Seven Engineering Departments. Managing Quality and Standards in UK Higher Education, Pilot Studies in Benchmarking of Assessment Practice. Quality Assurance Agency Gloucester p51-61.
Jackson N J 1998 Benchmarking Assessment Practice : A Commentary. Managing Quality and Standards in UK Higher Education, Pilot Studies in Benchmarking of Assessment Practice. Quality Assurance Agency Gloucester p67-79.
Jackson N J 1998 Facing up to the new realities in higher education and lifelong learning: ensuring high standards. Conference Proceedings - Facing up to the new realities in higher education and lifelong learning. ibc UK Conference Ltd.
Jackson N J 1999 Modelling change in a national HE system using the concept of unification. Journal of Educational Policy v p1-24.
Jackson N J 1999 Programme Specifications and their role in creating a more explicit environment for demonstrating and recording achievement. Jl of Further and Higher Education v23, p197-210
Jackson N J 2000 Understanding Benchmarking in Higher Education: Part 1 Introduction to the concept and application of the method. Accepted for publication in Quality Assurance in Higher Education. expected publication date June 2000.
Jackson N J 2000 Quality Assurance : Champion or servant of the Dearing Compact in K. M Gokulsing and C. DaCosta (eds). A Compact for Higher Education . Ashgate/Gower 47-64
Jackson N J 2000 Programme Specification and its role in promoting an outcomes model of learning. Active Learning in Higher Education v1 (2) 132-151
Jackson N J 2000 The concept of programme specification and its application in the new QA framework Specifications Special Issue of Quality Assurance in Education (to be published October 2000)
Jackson N J et al 2000 Programme specification : making the benchmarks explicit. Special Issue of Quality Assurance in Education v8 4 158-224 Jackson N J 2000 editor/author Programme Specifications Special Issue of Quality Assurance in Education v8 4 158-224.
Jackson N J 2001 Benchmarking in UK HE: an overview. Quality Assurance in Education v9. Number 4 218-235. Jackson N J 2002 Principles to support the enhancement of teaching and students learning: implications for educational developers. Educational Developments Issue 3.1 SEDA.
Jackson N J 2002 QAA Subject benchmarking. Special Issue of Quality Assurance in Education.
1998-2000 Ufi Consultant to
University for Industry
Ufi is a state broker whose purpose is to facilitate the development and expansion of opportunities for learning in and through work.
Role: I was involved in the development of the negotiated work-based learning (NWBL) programme called ‘Learning through Work.’ Contributions include:
The legacy of this work can be viewed at www.learndirect-ltw.co.uk
2000-03 LTSN Senior Advisor Learning and Teaching Support Network Generic Centre
The LTSN Generic Centre was established in 2000 and is part of the Learning and Teaching Support Network. It brokered information and knowledge, facilitated networks and networking and helps develop professional communities with the aim of enhancing learning and teaching in higher education. Another important function of the LTSN was to help shape the thinking of policy makers and provide HE communities with a stronger voice in national debates and discussions.
Role: I was a broker working to bring ideas, people, resources together in creative ways to develop new things and improve adapt existing things.
Jackson N J 2003 Engaging and Changing Higher Education through Brokerage. Ashgate Press.
Chapters 1, 2 & 3
Senior Advisor Higher Education Academy
The Higher Education Academy was formed from the merger of the Learning and Teaching Support Network, the Institute for Learning and Teaching and the National Coordinating Team. Its purposes were to: Provide strategic advice and co-ordination for the higher education sector, government, funding bodies and others on policies and practices that will impact on and enhance the student experience, and support and advance curriculum and pedagogic development.ssional development and i
Role: I was a broker working to bring ideas, people, resources together in creative ways to develop new things and improve adapt existing things.
Examples of work:
Provided advice to the Burgess review of Measuring and Recording Students’ Achievement.
Leadership and management of a substantial programme of work aimed at improving the support given to external examiners and external examining.
Maintained or established and facilitated three UK-wide networks of interest formed around the ideas of:
Conceived and led an experiment in the building of data bases to facilitate an evidence based approach to personal development planning.
Facilitated development of knowledge about perceptions of creativity and how it is promoted in higher education
Led the development and implementation of the Change Academy for institutional team-based change projects.
Jackson N.J. et al (eds) 2006 Developing Creativity in Higher Education: an imaginative curriculum, London and New York: Routledge
Jackson N J 2003 Nurturing creativity through an imaginative curriculum. Educational Developments. SEDA Issue 4.2 July 2003 p8-12
Jackson N J 2003 Building Capacity to Support PDP: an optimistic vision of large scale and complex change. In D Gosling (ed) Personal Development Planning. SEDA Paper 115 p37-48
Jackson N J 2003 Magic Sparks in C Baillie (ed) Travelling CASE Creativity in Science, Arts and Engineering.
Jackson N J 2003 The humble word map: a simple but powerful aid to collaborative knowledge building in C Baillie (ed) Travelling CASE Creativity in Science, Arts and Engineering.
Jackson NJ 2003 Nurturing creativity through an imaginative curriculum. Educational Developments. SEDA Issue 4.2 July 2003 p8-12
Jackson, N J 2004 Developing the concept of metalearning. Innovations in Education and Teaching International 41(4), 391-403.
Jackson, N. and Ward, R. 2004 A fresh perspective on progress files—a way of representing complex learning and achievement in higher education. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education. Vol. 29, No. 4, http://www.heacademy.ac.uk
University of Surrey
Professor of Higher Education and Director of the Surrey Centre for Excellence in Professional Training and Education (SCEPTrE)
SCEPTrE was one of 74 Centres for Excellence in Teaching and Learning established between 2005-06 as a national policy for rewarding excellence in teaching and learning and broadening and deepening its impact.
Role: As the leader of the enterprise I:
Jackson, N J 2011 'Learning for a Complex World:
A lifewide concept of learning, education and personal Development' AuthorHouse
Jackson NJ (ed) ongoing - Learning to be Professional through a Higher Education e-book. Available on line http://learningtobeprofessional.pbworks.com/w/page/15914947/FrontPage
Jackson, N. J. 2008 The Lifewide Curriculum Concept: a Means of Developing a More Complete Educational Experience? SCEPTrE paper. Online at http://lifewidecurriculum.pbwiki.com/A-more-complete-education
Jackson, N. J. 2008 A Life-wide Curriculum: Enriching a Traditional WIL Scheme through New Approaches to Experience-based Learning. Proceedings of the WACE Symposium Sydney 2008.
Jackson, N. J. 2008 Tackling the Wicked Problem of Creativity in Higher Education. Background paper for keynote presentation, ARC Centre for Creative Industries and Innovation, Brisbane, June. Online at http://imaginativecurriculumnetwork.pbworks.com/w/page/19802613/FrontPage
Jackson, N. J. 2009 Surrey Award: A Design for Integrative Learning Association of American Colleges and Universities Conference, Integrative Learning: Managing the Complexities. Online at http://lifewidelearning.pbworks.com/Integrative-Learning
Jackson, N. J. 2010 Learning to be a Self-Regulating Professional: The Role of Personal Development Planning. In N. J. Jackson (ed.) Learning to be Professional through a Higher Education. Online at http://learningtobeprofessional.pbworks.com/w/page/32872854/Learning%20to%20be%20a%20self-regulating%20professional
Jackson, N. J. 2010 From a Curriculum That Integrates Work to a Curriculum That integrates Life: Changing a University’s Conceptions of Curriculum. Higher Education Research & Development, Work Integrated Learning Special Issue 29 (5): 491–505.
Jackson, N. J. 2010 Enabling a More Complete Education. In N. J. Jackson and R.K. Law (eds) Enabling a More Complete Education: Encouraging, Recognizing and Valuing Life-wide Learning in Higher Education. Online at http://lifewidelearningconference.pbworks.com/E-proceedings
Jackson, N. J. 2010 Developing Creativity through Lifewide Education. Online at http://imaginativecurriculumnetwork.pbworks.com/
Jackson, N.J. 2011 Recognising a More Complete Education through a Lifewide Learning Award. Special Issue Higher Education, Skills and Work-Based Learning
Jackson, N. J. and Campbell, S. 2008 Learning for a Complex World: A Lifewide Curriculum. Proceedings of the WACE Symposium, Sydney, October 2008, pp. 246–53. Online at http://workintegratedlearning.pbworks.com/w/page/14753698/FrontPage
Jackson, N. J., Fellows, C. and Leng, J. 2010 Adding Value to the Education of Nurses, Midwives and Operating Department Practitioners through a ‘Life-wide’ Curriculum, Nurse Education Today, 30 (2010): 271–5.
Jackson, N. J. and Buining F. 2010 Enriching Problem-based Learning through Design Thinking. In Barrett, T. and Moore, S. (eds) (2010) New approaches to problem-based learning: revitalising your practice in higher education London: Routledge
Founder Lifewide Education Community Interest Company
In 2011 I founded the Lifewide Education Community. We have over 500 subscribers to our community
and with the help of Jenny Willis and all our contributors we publish a magazine 2 or 3 times a year each issue exploring a dimension of lifewide learning.
2015 - present
In January 2015 I co-founded, with Chrissi Nerantzi Creative Academic
We have over 500 subscribers to our community and with the help of Jenny Willis and all our contributors we publish a magazine 2 or 3 times a year each issue exploring a dimension of lifewide learning. We also support Chrissi's #creativeHE online conversations and courses.
Research into strategic change and organisational innovation
Between October 2011 and December 2012 I was commissioned by Southampton Solent University to undertake an interview based study of how the university had changed through a 3 year strategic development programme. The results of this study will be published in a book in January 2013. It has provided an opportunity to further develop my understandings of how change is brought about in a university.