Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Editorial From: Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, Volume 3, Issue 2.
This relatively new journal has emerged at a time of considerable challenges to the nature of higher education. Within the UK, as well as several other countries, the economic crisis, together with a range of other social trends and developments, has thrown up a range of complex issues that managers of HEIs have to confront. But interestingly this turmoil has also raised questions about the nature of universities. Put simply the question emerges to what extent should HEIs be driven by short-term economic and financial advantage (even possibly survival). Should the hard sciences be supported in universities, even when students appear to eschew programmes in these subjects? And the role of the humanities has generated even more heat. Scholars such as Martha Nussbaum and Stefan Collini have written eloquently on the necessity of retaining, if not expanding, the humanities. Even John Henry Newman makes increasing appearances in the debates. HEIs are about the creation of citizens as well as economic man. And hidden in these debates are issues such as the question of how far to trust HEIs to manage their own affairs, or to put it another way, how closely coupled HEIs and society should be.
These are crucial debates and we seek to encourage colleagues to participate in them. We would welcome papers which explore these and related matters. These include learning from HEIs in different countries how they manage these issues, as well as general reflections on some of these debates. Such papers would not exclude papers on issues such as the role of technology in improving teaching and learning, topics which remain vital to creating a vibrant HE.
The set of papers in this edition – our second with Emerald – show our usual wide range of papers. Once again there is a technology strand; one paper explores the use of technology in the classroom in Higher Education and another paper examines behavioural factors which influence virtual knowledge sharing. We welcome papers on this continued debate of technology enhanced learning. The other papers stretch from creating a sense of community in classes, through to understanding the role of personal tutors. The papers come from a range of countries and cultures, valuable in itself as we all seek to learn from each other, while recognizing our differences. We continue to welcome this diversity and hope our readers find the papers as stimulating as well do.