The London School of Management Education (LSME) has organised two London based International Conferences in 2015 and 2016 and a joint Conference with the Panjab University in India in August 2016. LSME is currently planning a fourth International Conference for April 2017. Researchers and delegates from the Social Sciences, Humanities and Education have been actively participating in the Conferences and plans are afoot to reach out to the whole educational arena.
LSME is actively dedicated to building an expanding base for advancing educational research, practice and policy in the UK and beyond. This is being achieved by providing a platform through International Conferences to strengthen research capacities, educational capacities, knowledge management/sharing capacities, management and governance of educational institutions, as well as improve infrastructure.
Many of the delegates who are attracted to these Conferences are early career or emerging researchers from developing or under developed countries, some of whom work at the grass roots levels. This fulfills another aim of LSME in that it enables delegates from diverse backgrounds to share their research and benefit from the plenary sessions by providing opportunities for early career researchers to attend these International Conferences to present their research findings and to interact with other delegates and gain some awareness of opportunities to become involved in collaborative efforts that are taking place in many parts of the world.
The inaugural Conference in 2015 and the second Conference in 2016 were a much needed panacea to counter the lack of opportunity for early career researchers to present and engage in critical debate at an International Level. Many of the International Conferences are open only to very senior academic and research personnel. These series of Conferences provide an excellent and easily accessible platform for many early career researchers from all over the world to come together and share and learn from one another. The other added advantage is that very eminent professionals from the political, diplomatic and academic fields have readily joined the Conference to share their cutting edge experiences and thoughts.
In this regard LSME has had a Senior Parliamentarian as well as a Representative of Her Majesty the Queen, to address the Conference. Lord Dholakia and Mr Thomas Chan spoke of the changes they had seen taking place in the UK since the 1960s and 70s, when equal opportunity and access to public services and information were not delivered in a transparent and equitable manner. They spoke about the huge changes that have since taken place, and about the great progress in how information has become more accessible. There was also a very informative and insightful presentation about UNESCO and how it fulfills its goals by a senior UNESCO official which generated a lot of interest from many delegates.
Another key reason for organising these series of Conferences is to enable serious scholarly discussions which enable delegates as well as LSME staff and students to benefit from the latest emerging research trends in Education – so that they are at the cutting edge of their profession.
There is a process of knowledge transfer from the Conference presenters, to the LSME academic staff and then on to the students. In order to demonstrate this knowledge transfer, some anecdotal topics are presented as follows. At the inaugural Conference, Professor Peter Jarvis, who is considered to be one of the UK’s eminent educationalists of his time, presented a Keynote Address at which he made a very strong case for the fact that a Quality Teacher is derived from quality training and practice.
He strongly advocated that quality in teaching and learning should be an outcome of quality in the training of both teachers and those who prepare and design the learning materials. He emphasized that Quality itself may be defined by the presence of excellence/expertise in the requisite areas of knowledge about teaching and learning as well as a high level of skill in the practice of teaching. This concept was readily accepted by the LSME Academic Team and they have incorporated this into their day to day practice in their classes.