‘One of those things you need to do?’ Exploring the influence of HEA Fellowships on academic identities

Van der Sluis, Hendrik ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2543-6279 (2019) ‘One of those things you need to do?’ Exploring the influence of HEA Fellowships on academic identities. Doctoral thesis, Kingston University.

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Abstract

How the Higher Education Academy (HEA) Fellowships might influence academic identities is the focus of this study. Increasingly, Higher Education Institutions (HEI) in the United Kingdom have their Continuous Professional Development frameworks accredited by the HEA to support academic staff in obtaining an HEA Fellowship. HEIs’ attention to the HEA Fellowships needs to be understood against the volatile HE policy landscape, and growing influence of the university league tables. To strengthen institutional reputations for teaching and learning, universities stimulate academics’ engagement with the HEA Fellowships through different means, including revised policies for probation and promotion. The emerging literature has investigated the influence of the HEA Fellowships on teaching and related practice. This study provides an original contribution by exploring how the HEA Fellowships might offer new ways in which to conceive and support being an academic in HE and how they might develop academics’ career pathways. The aim of this study is to explore the influence of the HEA Fellowships on academics’ identities. An interpretive approach to the research guided its design. The data was collected using in-depth interviews with academics (n=15) at two universities with similar policies for probation and promotion, but different reputations for teaching and research. The data was analysed using thematic and narrative analysis. The findings suggest that the influence of the HEA Fellowships needs to be understood against the institutional setting, in particular the institutional mechanisms and policies that stimulate engagement. The HEA Fellowships, in combination with the institutional requirements for probation and progression, result in different academic identity trajectories, confirming and strengthening, as well as reconstructing and renegotiating teaching and research identities. Hereby a marked difference was found between academics that moved on to a teaching career pathway in comparison to those on a research pathway. This study concludes by discussing the implications of the findings for academic developers, leaders and policy makers. These include the delivery of HEA accredited professional development, the allocation of resources, and development opportunities for academics on teaching career pathways.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: Education > Academic identity
Education > Higher education
Education > Teaching and learning
Depositing User: Hendrik Van der Sluis
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2019 09:37
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2019 12:34
URI: http://repository.uwl.ac.uk/id/eprint/6440

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