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'The Front Leg of a Dinosaur: form and function in biology and in the unive...
Wed 5 April 2017, 17:30 – 19:00 BST
The Front Leg of a Dinosaur: form and function in biology and in the university sector - an inaugural Professorial Lecture with Professor Crichton Lang
Universities in Scotland operate through a UK Quality Code and within a Scottish Quality Enhancement Framework for Higher Education. Navigating these as an academic, educator, manager and, indeed, reviewer of other institutions, has been a large part of my career. Scottish universities are justifiably proud of the quality of their provision and see the quality processes in place in Scotland as being a key way of maintaining and evidencing this standard, even across the diversity of the Scottish university sector. But the nature of universities, challenges for their operation, and the quality processes measuring their success, are changing. Will these changes support or constrain diversity in how universities progress academic endeavour and deliver education? This is a key question for institutions such as the University of the Highlands and Islands, seeking to deliver higher education in an innovative way to best serve the needs of its region.
As a biologist and vet I also have an interest in the form and function of animals. These too are subject to a ‘Quality Enhancement Framework’ through the genes that regulate how animals are shaped. These same genes also influence the extent to which this physical form can alter, they both permit and constrain change over time, but overall are arguably responsible for the rich and diverse animal life around us today.
In this lecture I will attempt to bring these two areas together, with reflections on evolution and the regulation of form and function that might just open up some questions about the future development of universities.
Professor Crichton Lang will present his lecture on Wednesday 5 April at Inverness College UHI and will be available for audience questions. The lecture will be followed by a light supper.
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Professor Crichton Lang
University of the Highlands and Islands
Deputy Principal, Head of School of Health, Social Care and Life Sciences