University-school partnerships as arrangements in policy implementation

Unni Vere Midthassel (Norwegian Centre for Behavioural Research and Learning Environment in Education, University of Stavanger, Stavanger, Norway)

Journal of Professional Capital and Community

ISSN: 2056-9548

Publication date: 10 July 2017



The purpose of this paper is to add to the knowledge base of school-university partnerships by exploring such partnerships in terms of policy implementation.


This paper takes a qualitative approach using semi-structured interviews.


To achieve a joint understanding of roles, focus, and work in the partnerships based on the schools’ needs and scholars’ competence was crucial. This was not easily achieved in all partnerships. Conflicting expectations were part of the process. Although they were demanding, the partnership arrangements also represented opportunities for the university scholars to learn.


The findings suggest that partnership arrangements require parties that understand the implications of this collaboration and that respect, mutual trust, and joint understanding are needed. It is likely that bringing different parties together will create conflicts that must be resolved. If unfamiliar to the parties, the use of partnership arrangements is itself an implementation that has its own process that operates in parallel to the work in focus.



This work was supported by the Research Council of Norway (Grant Number 238003). The author is grateful for the support.


Midthassel, U. (2017), "University-school partnerships as arrangements in policy implementation", Journal of Professional Capital and Community, Vol. 2 No. 3, pp. 134-145.

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