One of the most interesting developments in higher education and further education in the UK and internationally over the last few years has been a move to encourage students to become involved with research as early as possible in their study. This recognises that research is not an exclusive activity for the dons of ancient universities or the scientists who are pushing the boundaries of our knowledge concerning, for example, medical practice, but that it can also be seen as a natural part of the way in which we go about learning. Most universities have focused provision for learner development and there is an organisation in the UK called the Association for Learning Development in Higher Education (ALDINHE) with this focus. Two major centres for developing students as researchers are at the University of Gloucester, led by Professor Mick Healey, and Oxford Brookes University, led by Professor Alan Jenkins, while the University of Brighton, for example, has developing students as researchers at the heart of its learning and teaching strategy.
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