GLOBAL: Worldviews - Media and higher education

University World News has teamed up with the US paper Inside Higher Ed and Canada's Ontario Institute for Studies in Education and the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations to host an international conference examining the complex relationship between media and higher education. The innovative event will be held in Toronto in June.

From around the world, higher education and science journalists from niche and mainstream media will join academics and higher education professionals to explore how media moulds public perceptions of higher education and how higher education engages with the media to shape public perceptions of its role and importance.

Worldviews: Media coverage of higher education in the 21st Century will also examine current innovations in media coverage and possible directions for the future.

The conference will be held from 16-18 June 2011 at several venues including the University of Toronto - where the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education is based - the MaRs Discovery District and Ryerson University.

Details can be found on the Worldviews website.

Speakers from North and South America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Oceania will encourage an interactive dialogue with participants. As well as debates, panels and workshops, there will be small café discussions and salons, film screenings, interviews with leading thinkers, and the opportunity for audience members to speak and debate.

The conference will be open to the media, streamed on the web and recorded for future website broadcasts.

"The relationship between the media and higher education is crucial to both and yet it is little studied or debated," said Karen MacGregor, Global Editor of University World News.

"Media coverage of higher education influences policy and institutions, sometimes dramatically, and media organisations produce and report on rankings. Academics generate research that is widely disseminated in the media and is of considerable public interest, and routinely contribute to the media as experts and commentators.

"So why don't we talk to each other more?"

Mark Langer, President of the Ontario Confederation of Faculty Associations and Carleton University professor of film studies, said: "Higher education is more important than ever to our social vitality and economic success, yet it depends on the media to articulate its mission to the public.

"This conference is the first attempt to seriously examine the implications and the changing nature of this relationship."

An exciting field of speakers from higher education and the media, and from around the world, is being developed - and we have room for more, if you are interested.

Among the confirmed speakers are:

* Ivan Seminiuk, News Editor of Nature.
* Ying Cheng, Executive Director of the Center for World-Class Universities, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China.
* Simon Beck, the Globe and Mail's Editor of the Canadian University Report.
* Ben Sowter, Head of Research for the global rankings group QS.
* Jean-Marc Fleury, Bell Globemedia Chair in Science Journalism, Université Laval.
* Abdul Razak Dzulkifli, Vice-chancellor of University of Science Malaysia, Penang.
* Adam Habib, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Johannesburg, South Africa.
* Penny Park, Science Media Centre of Canada.
* Phil Baty, Deputy Editor of Times Higher Education.
* Scott Jaschik, Co-editor of Inside Higher Ed.

We hope to see you there.

For further information please visit the website or contact Laura Ziemba, conference event planner: +1 416-712-0412