The role of compassion in higher education practices


  • Martin B Andrew Otago Polytechnic, New Zealand
  • Kerry Dobbins University of Warwick, United Kingdom
  • Eileen Pollard Manchester Metropolitan University, United Kingdom
  • Beate Mueller University of Technology Sydney, Australia
  • Rebekkah Middleton University of Wollongong, Australia


Pedagogy, compassion, teaching practice


Compassion in higher education is viewed in different ways by educators. In recent years a focus on using compassionate pedagogy and being authentic, compassionate educators has arisen. Often associated with ‘care’, compassion has been labelled at times to be ‘soft’ or even ‘fluffy’ and holding emotion. Rather, we argue – through critically exploring discourses of compassion and care – that by acknowledging higher education has a relational element encompassing purposeful and trusting relationships, interactions can hold more meaning and benefit. This Editorial seeks to position the role of compassion in higher education, challenging how compassion focused pedagogy and research can be incorporated and enacted so it can benefit the future of higher education. We consider compassion in learning and teaching practices and in assessment, looking with hope to the future where we may see educational values lived in and through our teaching practices.


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How to Cite

The role of compassion in higher education practices. (2023). Journal of University Teaching and Learning Practice, 20(3).

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