What are we educating students for?

Professor Paul Ashwin, Lancaster University

As government policies increasingly focus on graduates’ employment outcomes as the most important measure of the quality of undergraduate degrees, there is a danger that we will lose sight of the educational purposes of engaging students in higher education. In this keynote, I will argue that, in order to reinvigorate our understanding of what we are educating students for, we need to focus on how we develop curricula that support students to develop transformational relationships with disciplinary and professional knowledge. These relationships change students’ understanding of themselves and the world and are central to the many ways in which engaging in higher education can transform students’ lives and contribute to societal well-being. I will explore the implications of this argument for our educational practices.