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Academic Forum – The Evolution of Mediation in Higher Education

Academic Forum – The Evolution of Mediation in Higher Education

The CMC Academic Forum, now comprising over 60 members from 30 Higher Education institutions, held its first 2024 meeting last week. Focused on ‘Mediation in the Curriculum,’ the event featured speakers Professor Sue Prince and Senior Lecturer Michael Bartlet, who highlighted the evolution of mediation as a standalone module. Both emphasised the growing impact of mediation on students and university curriculums. Luiza Romanadze, President of the Ukrainian Academy of Mediation, added an international perspective.


The CMC Academic Forum has grown in the past 12 months to include over 60 members representing more than 30 different higher education institutions.  The meeting on the 18th January was on the topic of ‘Mediation in the Curriculum’.  It provided a fantastic opportunity to hear from speakers, Professor Sue Prince from the University of Exeter and Senior Lecturer Michael Bartlet from SOAS, describing their own experience of embedding mediation within the curriculum.

A key take away was how mediation has evolved from being a topic within an ‘ADR umbrella’ to becoming a stand-alone module that is being taught at both under graduate and post graduate level. It is clear that the momentum for mediation both within and outside the legal process is having an impact on both student expectations and what Universities are looking to offer by way of mediation teaching.

Sue Prince spoke about student attitudes to mediation and her experience supporting students to embrace a subject that can be viewed as different to more traditional law-based modules.  Both Sue and Michael emphasised the importance of having mediation simulations and role play as part of their teaching.  Michael is fortunate to be supported by Gillian Caroe (accredited mediator and CEDR trainer) for this exact purpose and Gillian explained how she seeks to provide a safe space in role play for students to experience being part of a mediation process for the first time.

Searching questions from delegates to our experts helped to provide further insights. Sue Prince gave a generous and clear explanation of how she approaches the assessment of the mediation module at Exeter. A discussion also took place about how a mediation module enables students to have a better understanding of the psychology of conflict.  This was followed by a fascinating conversation about how students can benefit from understanding comparative approaches to dispute resolution, where Michael gave a wonderful summation of approaches to mediation in both Asia and India.

The session attracted academics from across the UK and internationally. Luiza Romanadze, President of the Ukrainian Academy of Mediation explained how mediation was now mandatory at Masters level in Ukrainian Law degrees and Luiza also advised how a set text, available online, had been created to support the teaching of the module and was provided free to students.  The text included examples of disputes, to support role plays.

The next CMC Academic Forum meeting will take place on the 16th May. If you would like to be part of the CMC Academic Forum, please contact CMC Programme Manager Victoria Harris.

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