Professor Geoff Smith, Regent’s University London’s new Vice-Chancellor & CEO, has expressed his excitement for his new role, speaking of his vision for an empowering new phase of learning at the University.
‘A new, distinctive pedagogy’ combining the University's established strengths with technological development, and a human-centred approach, forms the heart of Professor Geoff Smith’s vision for Regent’s future. Professor Smith, BA (Hons) MBA (Lond) MPhil (Oxon), PhD, joined the University on 12 August 2019.
This new approach to the University’s teaching and learning will be key to preparing students to keep up with the pace of change in an increasingly technology-driven world, he explained.
‘I think students are pretty smart. They can see that to thrive in this complex world of unparalleled technological, geopolitical and environmental change, no matter your career or industry, you need a breadth of understanding and skills that you can’t derive from a classic, orthodox, singular degree,' said Professor Smith.
He added: ‘You need to have fluency across boundaries. You can’t be just one thing anymore. The challenge for us is to educate for uncertainty’.
Professor Smith joins Regent’s from Falmouth University, where he served as Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor for over 10 years. Prior to this, he held leadership and teaching positions at the universities of Bath Spa, Huddersfield and Manchester. He has also been an institutional reviewer for the QAA and its equivalents in Asia and the Middle East.
Professor Smith has been a keen observer of new pedagogical approaches around the world and has watched as these have created new opportunities for students, for industry and for the universities that embrace them. Some of the most successful innovations in this space have been accomplished by empowering existing university staff to develop and deliver new, relevant and exciting learning opportunities.
Professor Smith highlighted that the University’s existing academic and professional staff will be vital to achieving a new signature pedagogy at Regent’s.
He said: ‘I’m inviting all staff at Regent’s to contribute to the co-design. That, I think, is our golden opportunity. The University’s mission has stayed constant, and I think it’s a fabulous mission, it’s an important mission: developing tomorrow’s global leaders. This new pedagogy has to be a collective effort’.
Professor Smith elaborated: ‘What I want to try to do is mobilise the University’s combined nous to bring all that different insight, experience and perspective to the challenge of developing our signature pedagogy. I believe this initiative will continue to assist students, graduates and the broader University, to stand out as innovators, entrepreneurs and globally conscious and responsible contributors to society'.
Professor Smith continued: ‘An intimate, on-campus pedagogy is part of the Regent’s DNA. I think if that could be enhanced, further supported and complemented by a compelling digital experience – that would be really exciting.'
Rounding off his vision, Professor Smith said: 'This is now a new phase for Regent's. We can acknowledge our history and current strengths, while also accepting the challenge of writing our future story, at the same time articulating a proposition that’s more empowering, more relevant, more contemporary and much more ‘fit for purpose’, particularly given the depth and rate of change we are facing'.
A number of activities are scheduled over the coming weeks as an opportunity for Professor Smith to meet with the University’s academic and professional staff and to hear directly from them about their Regent’s stories, insights and ideas.