Space Universities Network - supporting the Space Science and Engineering Higher Education Community in the UK

Lucy Berthoud, Andrew Glester

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)

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The UK-based “Space Universities Network” (SUN) was formed in 2016 with the aim of enhancing the quality of learning and teaching by providing support and resources to the space science and engineering higher education community. The goal of this research was to pilot the running of this education network as a Community of Practice and then to use the existing concept of value creation to evaluate it. A Community of Practice is a recognized way of encouraging interaction and shared best practice to learn together. This paper starts with a review of Communities of Practice in the literature, then describes the process that led to the foundation of the SUN network and its evolution. The methods and process used to establish the infrastructure and regulation of the community are discussed. Next, the UK context, the aims and objectives of SUN and the membership of the community are covered. Results include newsletters and email lists which have been used as methods of communication, training of staff has been achieved through workshops by recognized experts and a curated web-based repository of resources has been used to exchange ideas for classes, icebreakers, case studies, questions, shared facilities database and practical exercises. Evaluation of the community has been carried out via a survey of members. In conclusion, a community of practice has found to be a useful vehicle to enable the space higher education community to interact and learn from each other in order to raise the level of space education in the UK. Once firmly established, it is hoped to expand the network through partnerships with similar networks in other countries.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2nd Symposium on Space Educational Activities
Subtitle of host publicationApril 11-13 2018, Hungary, Budapest at Budapest University of Technology and Economics
EditorsLászló Bacsárdi
PublisherBudapest University of Technology and Economics
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9789633132869
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jul 2018

Structured keywords

  • Engineering Education Research Group


  • Community of Practice
  • networks
  • Higher Education
  • evaluation
  • collaboration


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