The higher education sector in the UK is currently undergoing some exciting new developments and there is a lively discussion around the overall purpose of higher education that ranges from discussing philosophical views as well as the practical agendas of employers and the political ones inspired by various political parties and the government. Higher education institutions navigate such turbulent times to the best of their abilities and often try to capture the essence of their operation in mission statements or in other words a series of short statements that indicate what their organisation is about, the values they hold dear and their purpose and focus. This paper looks at specifically how higher education institutions in the UK position themselves and the values they promote through these mission statements. It investigates how these modern institutions perceive the purpose of higher education and how they communicate values they stand for.


A/Prof. Meeri Hellstén,


Dr Agi Ryder is the programme leader of the PGCert in Higher Education at Middlesex University in the UK. This is a programme designed for early career academics as well as those who may have been teaching for a while but have had no formal guidance in learning and teaching strategies. The programme offers an important grounding in teaching techniques and practices as well as providing support mechanisms for the continuing development of teaching practice beyond the confines of the programme itself.

Agi’s research interests are quite wide ranging as her role requires her to keep up with the latest developments. A few of the topics that might be of interest to colleagues:

  • Interested in the language of feedback as she works in a linguistically rich environment that provides challenges both for students and tutors. This is something she feels very passionate about and also just secured a small grant to continue with it.
  • Ashe has recently worked on project investigating the use audio feedback, something that she actively uses and promotes. She also has a general interest in the use of learning technologies and how to embed these into the curriculum in a meaningful way.

Lazar Gillian & Ryder Agi 2017. Speaking the same language: Developing a language-aware feedback culture.

To link to this article: