Exploring the Teaching-research Nexus in College Based and University Higher Education
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In traditional university higher education the normal expectation is that academic staff will undertake teaching and research. There is an implicit assumption that active researchers provide a high quality learning experience, with research-informed teaching at its core. The research presented in this thesis explores aspects of the teaching-research nexus in university and college-based higher education. As there is not traditionally a research culture within college-based higher education it may be assumed that the learning experience may be of a lesser quality. This research considered four aspects of provision. It considered institutional and lecturer views on the nexus before examining what students experienced and how engaged they were in their lecturers' research. Comparisons between the types of institution showed an expected cultural pattern between universities and colleges stance on the nexus, where CBHE focused on teaching, post-1992 universities on research-informed teaching, and the pre-1992 universities highlighting their research reputations. The student experience is shown to diverge from this pattern. The CBHE psychology students had a more research-rich experience than those at universities, with varying levels of engagement with lecturers' research. The evidence form this study suggests that research, in its traditional form, may not be necessary to enhance learning. It indicates that there needs to be further exploration about the role of scholarship within higher education to develop a better understanding of the role of CBHE in the higher education sector, and what it may contribute to the teaching-research nexus. This may have implications for the status of CBHE in the higher education landscape, as has been suggested by the first TEF outcomes.
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