Educating Professionals and Professionalising Education in Research-Intensive Universities: Opportunities, Challenges, Rewards and Values
Hilli, Pia Elisabet Angelique
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
Abstract This study describes what higher education institutions (HEIs) that are known for their research excellence are doing to implement current student and teaching oriented higher education (HE) policies in England and Wales. Pressures to reach increasingly higher levels of excellence in both teaching and research challenge existing structures and mechanisms in these researchintensive universities (RIUs). Options for overcoming challenges are discussed by bringing together perspectives of different stakeholders. This thesis is based on analysis of documentary and empirical data to gain insight into perspectives and experiences of stakeholders of the implementation of current HE policies in England and Wales. Documentary data consisting of publicly available material about HE policies has been analysed by an interpretive analysis of policy, and papers about research have been systematically reviewed. The contents of interviews with academics in four RIUs have been analysed in case studies. This study contributes to existing research on ‘professionalism’ (see, for example, Kolsaker, 2008), ‘effective teaching’ (see, for example, Hunter & Back, 2011), and ‘evaluating teaching quality’ (see, for example, Dornan, Tan, Boshuizen, Gick, Isba, Mann, Scherpbier, Spencer, Timmins, 2014). This study also complements The UK Higher Education Academy’s (HEA) research in this area including Gibbs’ report on quality (2010) as well as earlier work on reward and recognition (2009). Key findings give insight into a troublesome relationship between teaching and research activities, which is at the core of many of the challenges RIUs are facing. Findings showing academics strong interest in their students, teaching, and research highlight their engagement in the development of these key activities. These support recommendations for development processes in RIUs involving organisation wide engagement to build parity of esteem between research and teaching to achieve aims to reach their full potential in terms of excellence in HE.
The Higher Education Academy (HEA)
Mike Baker Doctoral Programme
PhD in Education