The morphing of academic practice: Unbundling and the rise of the para-academic

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Abstract

Teaching, research and service are the three conventional elements of academic practice, recognised on an international basis. However, evidence suggests that academic practice is rapidly disaggregating, or 'unbundling', as a result of a variety of forces including the massification of national systems, the application of technology in teaching and increasing specialisation of academic roles to support a more centralised and performative culture. This article will present an analysis of these changes linked to the emergence of the 'para-academic': staff who specialise in one element of academic practice. This includes the 'up-skilling' of professional support staff and the 'deskilling' of academic staff. The implications of this change for the quality of the student experience and the sustainablity of academic citizenship are considered. Copyright © 2010 The Author.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-73
JournalHigher Education Quarterly
Volume65
Issue number1
Early online dateOct 2010
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011

Citation

Macfarlane, B. (2011). The morphing of academic practice: Unbundling and the rise of the para-academic. Higher Education Quarterly, 65(1), 59-73. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2273.2010.00467.x

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