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The future requires an educated workforce which is able to understand and work creatively with complex concepts to generate new ideas, new theories, new products, and new knowledge, supported through flexible and agile approaches to learning and engagement.

Teesside University has long been recognised for its innovative approach to education. We were one of the pioneers of higher and degree apprenticeships, and undertake ground-breaking work in the use of technology and e-learning to deliver specialist teaching in areas as diverse as forensic radiography and medical imaging to creative writing.

Our research in teaching and learning has gained international status and is published widely in academic journals and textbooks to support innovative and lifelong learning in a number of disciplines. Our work also extends to applications outside the higher education context such as contributing to the development of the EECities Platform to support on-line learning related to urban design (Horizon 2020)


Diverse research questions explored

Examples of some of the diverse research questions explored within this Grand Challenge theme are:

  • What will the future education system look like?
  • What is the role of education and educators in a future of Artificial Intelligence and instant access to information?
  • How can we best harness the power of information and communication technologies as learning tools?
  • What is the place of creativity in learning and how do we teach/develop it?
  • How do we break the links between prosperity and educational/employment outcomes?
  • What is the role of learning in the 'post-truth' era?


Our work in this challenge theme draws on and is informed by work and expertise across all parts of the University, which includes amongst others:

Education, childhood and youth studies, social policy, precarity and poverty, psychology and cognitive science, leadership and motivation, learning technologies, modelling and visualisation, artificial intelligence, disability, employability skills and professional development.


Research leads

Dr Clive Hedges

Dr Clive Hedges

Dr Clive Hedges worked for 13 years in research and development for Save the Children UK, contributing to the organisation’s work on children’s rights, community involvement in health services and national and international work on children’s participation in the provision of quality education, working with Michael Fielding and others to launch a national campaign to champion democratic approaches to education and producing a range of publications, including the organisation’s ‘Good School Council Guide’.

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Richard Sober

Richard Sober

After graduating in Architectural and Design History and completing post-graduate degrees in Urban Studies and Information Management, Richard worked for a number of years at Hull School of Architecture and Sunderland University before coming to Teesside where he spent ten years as Subject area leader for Spatial Design. His current role is as a University Teaching Fellow and Principal Lecturer in Spatial Design and his research interests relate to both art and design and learning and teaching.

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