The Social Role of Colleges Speaker Series

The CIHE Speaker Series supports the dissemination of higher education research and scholarship, and brings together a community of higher education experts, practitioners, and graduate students throughout the academic year. 

CIHE Speaker Series events are free and open to the public.

This seminar series is offered by the Centre for the Study of Canadian and International Higher Education (CIHE) at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. It explores the important role that community colleges and similar types of institutions play in supporting social, education, and cultural development in their local communities and regions. We argue that the role colleges play is not as well understood or theorised as is the role of universities and schools, and that this matters because colleges are vital for the well-being of their local communities. They support their regions and communities in many, often invisible, ways. However, the ways in which they do so differs in different countries and systems and this speaker series includes speakers from very different systems. The seminar series has its origins in research our research group at CIHE conducted for Education International, which is the international federation of teacher education unions. We undertook case studies in AustraliaCôte d’IvoireEngland and Taiwan. The project was topped and tailed by two reports, the first outlining a framework for vocational education to support social justice, and final report which presented analysis and evidence from the case studies.

This series builds on that work by theorising the role that colleges play, and in considering a more diverse range of countries.  These seminars will be of interest to those studying and/or working in the college sector. Please share widely in your networks.

The first seminar in the series on the social role of colleges was delivered by Dr. Leesa Wheelahan to set the stage. The second seminar in the CIHE Community College Speaker Series was delivered by Dr. Pauline David. She discussed the structure of vocational education in France. The third seminar was delivered by Dr. Jakob Kost on the Universities of Applied Sciences as vocationally oriented institutions in the Swiss Education System. The fourth seminar, delivered by Dr. Maarit Virolainen, focused on the roles and development of The Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences (UAS). The fifth seminar was delivered by Dr. Debra Bragg on the community college baccalaureate and systemic inequities in higher education. The sixth seminar in the series was delivered by Dr. Silvia Annen, focusing on the academization of vocational education, hybrid qualifications, and skills shortage. The seventh seminar of the series was delivered by Professor Gareth Parry, who discussed the roles and reltations of further education colleges in England. The eighth installment was delivered by Cristian Lincovil Belmar and Miski Peralta Rojas, who discussed the challenges of Chile's public higher vocational education. The ninth installment, presented by Dr. Steven Hodge, focused on the eroding social role of VET in Australia. Dr. Claudia Schiedeck delivered the tenth seminar of the series on the Brazilian VET model of the Federal Institutes. Please see the detailed visuals, and the links to the video recordings and the presentations of Dr. Wheelahan, Dr. David, Dr. Kost, Dr. Virolainen, Dr. Bragg, Professor Parry, Dr. Hodge, and Dr. Schiedeck's seminars below. 

Thursday, February 23, 2023 10:00 - 11:00 AM EST (Toronto)

Dr. Claudia Schiedeck

Professor, Higher Education (Retired), Federal Institute of Rio Grande do Sul

Presentation Slides

Thursday, February 9, 2023 5:00 - 6:30 PM EST (Toronto) / Friday, February 10, 2023 8:00 - 9:30 AM AEST (QLD)

Dr. Steven Hodge

Deputy Head of School (Research) - School of Education and Professional Studies, Griffith University (Queensland)

Presentation Slides

Thursday, January 26, 2023 5:00 - 6:30 PM EST (Toronto) / 7:00 - 8:30 PM CLST (Santiago)

Cristian Lincovil Belmar

Executive Officer, Secondary Vocational Education, Chilean Ministry of Education

Miski Peralta Rojas

Chief, Higher Vocational Education, Chilean Ministry of Education

Thursday, November 10, 2023 10:00 - 11:30 AM EST (Toronto) / 3:00 - 4:30 PM GMT (London)

Professor Gareth Parry

Professor Emeritus, University of Sheffield

PowerPoint presentation of Professor Gareth Parry's seminar.

Thursday, October 27, 2022 10:00 - 11:30 AM EDT (Toronto)

Dr. Silvia Annen

Professor, Business Education, University of Bamberg

Thursday, October 4, 2022 10:00 - 11:30 AM EDT (Toronto)

Dr. Debra D. Bragg

Founding Director, Office of Community College Research and Leadership, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

PowerPoint presentation of Dr. Debra Bragg's seminar.

Thursday, September 15, 2022 10:00 - 11:30 AM EST (Toronto) / 5:00 - 6:30 PM EEST (Helsinki)

Dr. Maarit H. Virolainen

Project Researcher, Finnish Institute for Educational Research (FIER), University of Jyväskylä

PowerPoint presentation of Dr. Maarit Virolainen's seminar.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022 10:00 - 11:30 AM EST (Toronto)

Dr. Jakob Kost

Visiting Scholar, Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education (LHAE), OISE, University of Toronto;
Lecturer, Institute for Upper-Secondary Education, Bern University of Teacher Education, Switzerland

The link to the video recording of Dr. Jakob Kost's seminar.
PowerPoint presentation of Dr. Jakob Kost's seminar.

Wednesday, June 8, 2022 10:00 - 11:30 AM EST (Toronto) / 4:00 - 5:30 PM CEST (Paris)

Dr. Pauline David

Université de Nantes

PowerPoint presentation of Dr. Pauline David's seminar.

Wednesday, June 1, 2022 10:00 - 11:30 AM EST (Toronto)

Dr. Leesa Wheelahan

Professor, William G. Davis Chair, Community College Leadership

PowerPoint presentation of Dr. Leesa Wheelahan's seminar.