The Porous University: 8 & 9 May 2017


The University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) and OEPS are proud to present “The Porous University – A critical exploration of openness, space and place in Higher Education” on 8 and 9 May 2017.

This free, two day symposium will take place at the Inverness campus, UHI and we will be seeking proposals for participation in early Spring.


The idea for this symposium arose out of a series of conversations and reflections on the nature of openness within Higher Education. It started with the observation that openness is increasingly seen as a technical question, whose solution lies in employing the low transaction costs associated with digital technologies with open licences to open up academic content to new groups of learners. Where critical voices have engaged this partial reading they have often rightly critiqued the degree to which this is truly open, for example, drawing on older traditions of open to question the freedoms free content allows for those already distanced from education.

However, other questions also arise, what does it mean beyond releasing content? What is the role of open academics in dealing with problems “in the world”, how should staff and students become learners within community contexts, developing and negotiating curriculum based on those contexts? What would it mean for openness as a way to allow new voices into the academy, to acknowledge knowing and ways of knowing outside the academy, and where can and should our open spaces – both digital and physical – intersect?  If we are to advocate allowing learners experience and organisations to inform the academy how open should academics be to the influence of private capital? These are the kinds of questions we want to explore in this symposium.” [REF]

Booking information will also be available shortly. In the meantime, if you require further information or want to get involved, please contact Ronald Macintyre ( or Keith Smyth (”


Image credits: Porous diagram (via OEPS blog), all other images: Moo! and Toward Loch Ness, Inverness licensed CC-BY 2.0 Beck Pitt 


This page was last updated on 1 March 2017. 

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