We are delighted to present the following candidates for consideration to become the Chair of the Association for Photography in Higher Education (APHE). They have both kindly provided short statements reflecting on their perspectives for the role, please refer to these when casting your vote.
Each named member can only cast ONE vote.
Only current members who are listed on the APHE Members database are entitled to vote. Institutions are responsible for providing an up to date list of all named members – if you are unsure, please vote and we will cross check with the database.
Voting opens 6th March 2017
Voting closes 7th April 2017
To vote please use this online ballot link
Liam Devlin – University of Huddersfield
Departmental Lead in Internationalisation
As the Departmental Lead in Internationalisation my main role is the establishment and maintenance of partnerships with other Universities around the world. These partnerships can involve research networks, student exchanges and articulation agreements. My research explores the use of documentary imagery in relation to art practices that explicitly operate in social and political realms and is interested in how antagonistic socially engaged art practices are a vital force in democratic society.
What is Possible?
The challenges facing third level education in general and photographic courses in particular are many and varied. Identifying these challenges depends on whether the focus is technological, pedagogical and of course financial. These over-arching themes are of course interwoven and interdependent. Furthermore given the present moment when these themes are all in flux, in the process of change, many of the challenges that photographic education will face in the near future have yet to become apparent. We can use the term Precarity from Nicholas Bourriaud to describe the environment within which third level photographic education now operates. As Bourriaud defines the term: An object is said to be precarious if it has no definitive status and an uncertain future or final destiny: it is held in abeyance, waiting, surrounded by irresolution. It occupies a transitory territory (Bourriaud, 2009: 32).
In general the space for questioning, experimentation and discovery is being squeezed. In its place is a relationship organised through the Customer/Client dynamic and legitimatized by consumer law. While the pressure is pushing education towards the vocational, I believe that the defence of the academic and philosophical aspects are still vital.
For me one of the most important experiences we can provide for the students is the space to work together on definite outcomes. When working as a collective there are far greater possibilities for students to transform their own lives and the societies within which they live and work and as an organisation the APHE can lead the way in building on the mutually supportive networks already established though this vital organisation.
Dealing with precarity together, with confidence and intelligence our institutions and our students can be a vital force in society and to so we can return to Bourriaud and transform this precarious state into a space of possibility, ‘to reveal spaces of possibility and imagination, and new opportunities for thought.’ (Bourriaud, 2009: 34). The APHE can provide the network and opportunities to respond with imagination and ambition to successfully meet the challenges facing our organisations and more importantly the students who pass into our care.
Dr Simon Standing – Plymouth University
Associate Head of School (Art)
Associate Professor of Photography
I am currently Associate Head of School for Art at Plymouth University, covering Photography, Fine Art and Media Arts subject areas. I’ve been working in HE for over 25 years, initially as a Lecturer and subsequently as Associate Professor in Photography. During this time I’ve been involved in everything from module development to undergraduate and postgraduate course design and validation. I have experience working as an External Examiner in the UK and abroad at both UG and PG level. I see the role of Chair as two-fold:
1. In an increasingly data-driven sector, there is a need to maintain a focus on the student experience; an experience driven by the passions and motivations of individuals and staff teams across the country in developing innovative teaching and learning practices. Therefore to continue to share good practice and to meet and discuss what we do, why we do it, and in what environment, nationally, we do this is a vital role for the association. This communication and sharing extends to the CHEAD Subject Group network of course and with the international links developed by the current Executive with the Society for Photographic Education (SPE) in the USA.
2. In the recent Creative Industries Federation Brexit Report, we are reminded of the significance of EU nationals to the UK higher education sector, when it states ‘EU nationals are of particular significance to creative education… For example, EU nationals account for more than…16% at the Glasgow School of Art and around 13% at the University of the Arts London.’ Combined with potential fee changes, impact on student and staff mobility, and research funding, we face a challenging future in maintaining a fully international mix of students in higher education.
In order to achieve APHE’s potential there is the need for the community of individuals representing their programmes and institutions to engage with activities and opportunities throughout the year. Over the current period of tenure the APHE Executive has grown the membership, and there is something very positive to build on in this respect. I would relish the opportunity of leading the APHE Executive Committee and its membership.