Lost in the ‘third space’: The impact of public engagement in higher education on academic identity; research practice and career progression

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Abstract

Public engagement (PE) is habitually recognized and advocated across the higher education (HE) community – especially by regulator and funder constituencies – as an intrinsically good thing. In the UK, a number of initiatives focused on embedding a culture of PE within universities have sought to further this claim, yet have done so without considering or reporting upon some of the less positive elements of its undertaking. In this paper, we report upon evidence from interviews with n = 40 UK academics, drawn from across the academic hierarchy, disciplines and a diverse range of higher education institutions. The testimony of respondents points towards a number of issues for public engagement in higher education (PE-HE), specifically the deleterious effects of its undertaking on academic identity; research practice and career progression.
LanguageEnglish
Pages331-347
Number of pages16
JournalEuropean Journal of Higher Education
Volume5
Issue number3
Early online date23 Jun 2015
DOIs
StatusPublished - 2015

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abstract = "Public engagement (PE) is habitually recognized and advocated across the higher education (HE) community – especially by regulator and funder constituencies – as an intrinsically good thing. In the UK, a number of initiatives focused on embedding a culture of PE within universities have sought to further this claim, yet have done so without considering or reporting upon some of the less positive elements of its undertaking. In this paper, we report upon evidence from interviews with n = 40 UK academics, drawn from across the academic hierarchy, disciplines and a diverse range of higher education institutions. The testimony of respondents points towards a number of issues for public engagement in higher education (PE-HE), specifically the deleterious effects of its undertaking on academic identity; research practice and career progression.",
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