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Re-naming and re-framing: Evolving the ‘Higher Education Research Group’ to the ‘Geography & Education Research Group’

September 2, 2021 @ 3:00 pm 4:00 pm


  • Ruth Healey (University of Chester)
  • Harry West (University of the West of England, Bristol)


At the Higher Education Research Group (HERG) AGM on the 29th August 2018 it was proposed that the Research Group might consider broadening its remit to consider a wider context of geography education and formally include the geographies of education.  On the back of this proposal a working group was formed which led to the proposal to re-frame the work of the Research Group around two key areas, which were subsequently used as the basis for the new constitutional aims of the group:

1. Pedagogic research and evidence-based practice in geography education

2. Research and inquiry into the geographies of education 

In order to be inclusive of these two different themes it was decided that the group would also need to be re-named.  After some discussion the name ‘Geography & Education Research Group’ was decided upon.  A proposal was shared with the existing HERG membership and in May 2019 the membership voted in favour of the change.  The constitution was subsequently changed to reflect this outcome and formally ratified at the HERG AGM on 28th August 2019 (just under one year from the initial proposal) and received final sign-off by the Royal Geographical Society on 7th October 2019.

To re-launch the Research Group’s focus we held a conference on 16th December 2019 to discuss the overlap and distinctions between these two different themes.  We followed this by facilitating a writing workshop on the 17th December 2019 focused on writing a series of short comment/discussion articles narrating the Research Group changes to a wider disciplinary audience and to provide a long term record of the discussion and decision to expand the focus of the Research Group.  This session will showcase the articles that came out of that process.  Each article contributes to a narrative charting where the Higher Education Research Group (HERG) has come from, and where it is going as the Geography & Education Research Group (GeogEd).