Welcome to this Special Issue of the Journal of University Teaching and Learning Practice (JUTLP). This editorial provides an overview of Collaboration in Higher Education. Humans are social, inter-dependent beings, needing to be and communicate with each other. Being with other people provides an opportunity to grow and develop, creating a sense of self and identity. Together we construct, structure and restructure the stories that build the larger narratives of who we are, what we do and how we live, act and behave as people, professionals and larger communities. It is through our collaborations that we come together, and construct meaning and ourselves. As Higher Education continues to exclude and sideline, as it constrains and removes spaces and places for collaboration between service staff, faculty and students within institutions, between institutions, and with other stakeholders, there is a need to rediscover the power of collaboration. The articles included, build on practical experience, research data, personal and collective reflections, to outline how the contributors have navigated this tension to create spaces of voice and hope. Presented are case studies that are boundary crossing: across disciplinary boundaries; cross-institution collaboration; cross-boundary working; pedagogical co-creation and the re-conceptualising of learning; and students as partners, co-researchers and co-authors. Together they showcase refreshed notions of collegiality and collaboration in Higher Education that support new and more nuanced, and dynamic models of co-creation. We hope the Special Issue helps seed an ecology of collaborative practice for social justice – a more humane academia.

Practitioner Notes

  1. Humans are social, interdependent beings – humane collaborative practices enable us to make space for ourselves as we strive to co-create a humane university.
  2. Working with other people provides an opportunity for both a recognition of the self – and for joint growth and development.
  3. Beyond the transactional: collaboration in Higher Education creates opportunities not for ‘best practice’ but for refreshed notions of collegiality and partnership.
  4. Working together in academia and with external partners implicitly challenges the managerialist imperative of the neoliberal university.
  5. An ecology of collaborative university practice supports social justice.

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