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Publication Detail
A delicate balance: optimising individual aspirations and institutional missions in higher education
  • Publication Type:
    Conference presentation
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  • Authors:
    Whitchurch C, Locke W
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The presentation considers the inter-relationship between academic staff and their institutions in addressing institutional and individual aspirations, and how day-to-day practice can influence policy. From interviews with 69 respondents in eight UK institutions, three approaches to roles and careers are identified, described as Mainstream (in which individuals place emphasis on formal structures and timelines, focusing on activities deemed to be most valuable); Portfolio (in which individuals cumulatively gather academic and associated experience, so as to optimise future opportunities); and Niche (in which individuals prioritise personal security, interests and strengths, often emphasising service to students and the community). It is demonstrated how these may be adopted by individuals at different times and in different circumstances, and concluded that a delicate balance exists between institutional policy, its local interpretation, and day-to-day practice, as well as ways in which bottom up initiatives may, in turn, influence policy making.
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