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

Nick Pilcher, Alan Mark Forster, Stuart Tennant, Michael Murray, Nigel Craig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

‘Career Academics’ are principally research-led, entering academia with limited or no industrial or practical experience. UK Higher Education Institutions welcome them for their potential to attain research grant funding and publish world-leading journal papers, ultimately enhancing institutional reputation. This polemical paper problematises 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 that 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 that 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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1477-1495
Number of pages19
JournalEuropean Journal of Engineering Education
Volume42
Issue number6
Early online date3 Apr 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2017

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