Why play matters in a world of REF, TEF and What the Jeff


  • Alison James University of Winchester




play, creativity, higher education, social theories of learning, community


This article explores the unease that surrounds the notion of play in higher education and challenges this with the example of a university wide play and creativity festival. The author argues that in a time of educational change, tension and uncertainty play is  essential in community building, shifting perspectives, generating new ideas and strengthening relationships.

Author Biography

Alison James, University of Winchester

Professor Alison James, Director, Academic Quality and Development, University of Winchester. National Teaching Fellow and Principal Fellow HEA. Specialist interests in creative and playful pedagogy, creative reflection, PDP and identity.


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Nerantzi, C. and James, A. (2015) ‘Waterfall of questions or can we afford not to play in HE?’ In: Nerantzi, C. and James, A. (eds.) Exploring Play in Higher Education.

Creative Academic Magazine, 2A, June 2015, 4-5. Available at: http://www.creativeacademic.uk/ (Accessed: 18 September 2017.)

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