Research Output

Problematising the ‘Career Academic’ in UK construction and engineering education: does the system want what the system gets?

  ‘Career Academics’ are principally research-led, entering academia with limited or no industrial or practical experience. UK Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) welcome them for their potential to attain research grant funding and publish world-leading journal papers, ultimately enhancing institutional reputation. This polemical paper problematizes the Career Academic around three areas: their institutional appeal; their impact on the student experience, team dynamics and broader academic functions and; current strategic policy to employ them. We also argue recent UK government teaching-focused initiatives will not address needs to employ practical academics, or ‘Pracademics’ in predominantly vocational Construction and Engineering Education. We generate questions for policy makers, institutions, and those implementing strategy. We argue research is key, but partial rebalancing will achieve a diverse academic skill base to achieve contextualised construction and engineering education. In wider European contexts, the paper resonates with issues of academic ‘drift’ and provides reflection for others on the UK context.

  • Type:

    Article

  • Date:

    03 April 2017

  • Publication Status:

    Published

  • DOI:

    10.1080/03043797.2017.1306487

  • Cross Ref:

    10.1080/03043797.2017.1306487

  • ISSN:

    0304-3797

  • Library of Congress:

    LB2300 Higher Education

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    378 Higher education

  • Funders:

    Edinburgh Napier Funded

Citation

Pilcher, N., Forster, A., Tennant, S., Murray, M., & Craig, N. (2017). Problematising the ‘Career Academic’ in UK construction and engineering education: does the system want what the system gets?. European Journal of Engineering Education, 42(6), (1477-1495). doi:10.1080/03043797.2017.1306487. ISSN 0304-3797

Authors

Keywords

Key words: REF; Construction and Engineering Education; Recruitment policy; career academic; professional industrial experience, TEF

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