This is an archived version of a page from OKHE 2015/6, to preserve references and content for past participants. See the main page for the latest materials.

3. Openness as policy and stategy: Direction, impact and disruption

This topic takes the personal, the practical and the philosophical, touched on in earlier topics, and follows it on with a discussion on the policies and implementation of open knowledge at an institutional level.

So far, you have explored the intersection of openness with HE, learning/teaching, publishing, research/knowledge, copyright, social media and likely more. You may be starting to connect this to your own practice as you think about your assignments.

Interactive reading list

To help you to start discussions around the reading list for this topic, and to generate questions for our panel, we would like you to comment and leave questions on three papers: Fulfilling our potential (BIS, 2015), the Finch report (2012) and Breaking the lockbox on education (Hewlett Foundation, 2013).

As you read the above documents, please select text and click the speech bubble to add comments (NB: comments are public), thinking about these documents from an openness perspective. Your comments/questions will be passed on to the course experts for our panel discussion. We hope that you enjoy adding and reading other participants’ comments, and we look forward to discussing them in the session.

Interactive policy documents — please comment and leave questions on these documents for the panel discussion.

Course experts

Professor Fiona Devine, University of Manchester.

Professor Fiona Devine is Head of Alliance Manchester Business School and Professor of Sociology at The University of Manchester. She was previously Head of Sociology (2004–7), Head of the School of Social Sciences (2009–13) and Co-Director of Centre for Research on Socio-Cultural Change (CRESC) (2012–4) at the University which she first joined in 1994.

Prior to Manchester she worked at the University of Liverpool, the Policy Studies Institute, and the former Department of Employment in London. She studied Sociology and Government as an undergraduate at the University of Essex where she also completed an MA and PhD.

Fiona’s research interests are in the related fields of social stratification and mobility (with a comparative focus including the US), work and employment, and politics and participation. Much of her research has been funded by grants from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Leverhulme Trust.

With a team of colleagues from the LSE, York, Durham and MMU, she was involved in the BBC’s Great British Class Survey, an online survey completed by over 300,000 thousand people and a class calculator completed by 9 million people. The results have appeared in the book, Social Class in the 21st Century, published by Penguin in 2015.

Fiona was a member of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and Chair of its International Advisory Committee (2003–7), a member of the Governing Council of the European Science Foundation (ESF) and the UK representative on the New Opportunities for Research Funding Co-operation Agency in Europe (NORFACE) Network Board.

She has held visiting positions at the Department of Sociology, University at Chicago, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University and the Institute for Social Science Research, University of Queensland, and was a member of the Research Evaluation Committee for Education and Human Society for Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA).

Fiona is also currently a Fellow of the Centre for the Study of Poverty and Inequality, Stanford University, USA. She is an Honorary Professor in the Institute for Social Sciences and the Department of Sociology at the University of Queensland, Australia and continues to work with colleagues there.

She was awarded an OBE for services to social sciences in 2010 and elected a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (FAcSS) in 2011. Fiona is a companion of the Chartered Management Institute (CMI). She was elected onto the Assembly of the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce in 2015.


Stephen Pinfield, University of Sheffield.

Stephen Pinfield is Professor of Information Services Management at the University of Sheffield Information School. He has a particular research interest in scholarly communication and practice, focusing on open-access publishing and dissemination, and research data management. He has been involved in research and development on open access for over 15 years, including founding the Centre for Research Communications and the SHERPA open-access initiative at the University of Nottingham. He is currently Principal Investigator on an AHRC-funded project investigating open-access mega-journals, and has recently completed work sponsored by Universities UK to assess the uptake of open access amongst UK researchers. He has been involved in national and international policy development related to open access and open data over the last decade.


Professor Clive Agnew, The University of Manchester.

Professor Clive Agnew is Vice President for Teaching Learning and Students at The University of Manchester. Clive is responsible for strategy and policy development in this area. He aims to ensure that the University excels in all aspects of its educational mission.

Clive holds a chair on Physical Geography. He researches and teaches in the fields of water resources development and applied hydrology. His first degree was in Physical Geography (BSc) from Newcastle University in 1976. His PhD was awarded in 1980 from the School of Development Studies, University of East Anglia for work on water resources and drought in West Africa. He was appointed to the Systems Department of the Open University in 1979, and from 1981 to 1999 was a lecturer then senior lecturer in Geography at University College London before moving to Manchester. In 2000 Clive was appointed to Head of Geography and then from 2004 to 2009 as Head of the newly created School of Environment and Development (Including Architecture, IDPM, Geography and Planning). He was appointed VP for TL&S in 2011. Clive continues to teach from undergraduate through to postgraduate students. In earlier appointments he has held various teaching management positions including Director of Geography programmes, Chair of Geography QAA, Director of MRes plus numerous programme leads. He has written on interactive teaching for large groups and developing numeracy skills and has held national positions as a curriculum and teaching reviewer and training facilitator. The three main goals of his current position are the enhancement of student experience, to support widening participation and to improve student employability.


Steven Hill, Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).

Steven Hill is Head of Research Policy at the Higher Education Funding Council for England. Prior to joining HEFCE Steven was Head of the Strategy Unit at Research Councils UK, covering a range of research policy issues, and had several roles in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, working on evidence-based policy making. Earlier in his career Steven was a university lecturer at the University of Oxford where his research focussed on plant physiology and biotechnology.


Dr Steve Pettifer, University of Manchester. Image: http://aig.cs.man.ac.uk/people/srp

Dr Steve Pettifer is a Reader and the Director of Teaching Strategy in the School of Computer Science, and Associate Vice Dean for Teaching, Learning and Students in the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Schiences at The University of Manchester. His research interests are in the area of Human Computer Interaction, Visualisation, 3D Graphics and Distributed Systems.

Steve’s research interests are centred around the design of advanced interfaces for computer systems. In particular, he is interested in scientific visualisation, scholarly publishing, and what is broadly termed ‘virtual reality’. His main research project revolves around Utopia Documents, a novel tool for interacting with the scientific literature. Steve tweets as @srp.


Reading list

Department for Business Innovation and Skills. 2015. Fulfilling our Potential; Teaching excellence social mobility and student choice. (CM9141). <https://via.hypothes.is/https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/474266/BIS-15-623-fulfilling-our-potential-teaching-excellence-social-mobility-and-student-choice-accessible.pdf> [Last accessed 24 November 2015]

Finch, J. (2012) Accessibility, sustainability, excellence: how to expand access to research publications. Report of the Working Group on Expanding Access to Published Research Findings. Executive Summary. <https://via.hypothes.is/http://www.researchinfonet.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Finch-Group-report-executive-summary-FINAL-VERSION.pdf>[Accessed 30 March 2015]

William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. (2013) ‘White Paper: Open Educational ­Resources — ­Breaking the Lockbox on Education’ <https://via.hypothes.is/http://www.hewlett.org/sites/default/files/OER%20White%20Paper%20Nov%2022%202013%20Final_0.pdf>[Last accessed 8th September 2014]

Suber, P. (2012). Open access / Peter Suber. Cambridge, Mass. ; London: Cambridge, Mass. ; London: MIT Press.

Weller, M. (2014). The battle for open : how openness won and why it doesn’t feel like victory . London: Ubiquity Press Limited.

Following topic 3

After exploring the above interactive reading list, reading list and/or attending session 3, please have a look at our follow-on post, where you can watch the panel discussion, view session slides, and more.