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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2014

Amélia Veiga, Maria João Rosa, Sónia Cardoso and Alberto Amaral

The purpose of this article is to discuss Portuguese academics’ views on quality assessment and the elements that are important for a better understanding of what ascribes…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to discuss Portuguese academics’ views on quality assessment and the elements that are important for a better understanding of what ascribes meaning to “quality cultures” in Portuguese higher education.

Design/methodology/approach

The discussion was based on the results of a survey run in 2010 among Portuguese academics on quality assessment objectives and purposes. Descriptive statistics was used to investigate academics’ support to what quality assessment was supposed to guarantee (its purposes) and which should be its objectives. Furthermore, a factorial analysis using Promax rotation (oblique) was performed to investigate if the different purposes could be grouped according to the different areas they address in terms of quality assessment, helping to uncover a rationale that could explain the answers obtained. Theoretically, the results have been analysed in the light of the “quality culture” concept.

Findings

Perceptions of Portuguese academics that support internal processes of quality assurance correspond either to the responsive quality culture or the regenerative quality culture. The viable form of ideal cultures is analytically limited, and the perceptions gathered encourage “quality cultures” biased by stronger group control.

Originality/value

The paper offers new insights into academicsperceptions on quality assessment, a theme that so far has been relatively absent from higher education quality assurance studies. Furthermore, the results obtained could be useful to policymakers and quality assurance agencies when setting up evaluation and accreditation systems capable of balancing improvement associated with the group dimension and accountability coupled with the grid dimension.

Abstract

Details

Inquiring into Academic Timescapes
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-911-4

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Article
Publication date: 8 August 2016

Michael Lanford

In 2012, the eight UGC-funded higher education institutions in Hong Kong completed a multi-year process in which the majority of academic programmes were transformed from…

Abstract

Purpose

In 2012, the eight UGC-funded higher education institutions in Hong Kong completed a multi-year process in which the majority of academic programmes were transformed from three-year to four-year undergraduate curricula to accommodate liberal arts education. The purpose of this paper is to discuss why stakeholders in Hong Kong felt that reforms were necessary and summarizes the implementation of these reforms. Afterwards, recent literature that has similarly addressed higher education reforms is reviewed. Finally, the results of a qualitative research study, grounded in glocalization theory, are presented and contextualized.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper first draws upon policy documents, newspaper accounts, and other published primary sources for the review of Hong Kong’s educational reforms. Subsequently, an exploratory qualitative research design consisting of semi-structured interviews with 23 administrators and professors in Hong Kong is presented. These individuals are designated as “key informants”, as they gave presentations, made speeches, or were otherwise active in conceptualizing Hong Kong’s undergraduate educational reform on macro- and micro-levels.

Findings

Four primary findings concerning educational reform in Hong Kong are highlighted. They include tensions between international benchmarking and internal value systems; confusion over multiple educational paradigms; the limited efficacy of outside speakers and leadership; and controversy over outcome-based assessment.

Originality/value

First, recent educational reforms in Hong Kong’s higher education sector are summarized. Second, the implications of educational reforms for Hong Kong and glocalization theory are discussed. Third, conclusions that may resonate with educational reform processes in other international contexts are drawn.

Details

International Journal of Comparative Education and Development, vol. 18 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2396-7404

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Book part
Publication date: 21 August 2017

Teresa Carvalho

In recent years, the academic profession has received increased interest as an object of study. Higher education systems all over the world have submitted to deep and…

Abstract

In recent years, the academic profession has received increased interest as an object of study. Higher education systems all over the world have submitted to deep and structural changes with implications for this professional group. Two relevant international projects have been developed to analyze changes in the academic profession in a comparative way: “The Changing Academic Profession” (CAP) and “Academic Profession in Europe: Responses to Societal Challenges” (EUROAC). The aim of this chapter is to analyze the major results of these projects, reflecting on the way they have incorporated theories in the field of sociology of professions, and, simultaneously, to reflect on the contributions the empirical results of these studies have brought to the theoretical framework in this specific field of study. Data analysis reveals that, even if academics do not engage in an in-depth discussion about academics as a professional group, it is possible to classify them as the ‘producers of producers’, or as a meta-profession. Simultaneously, analysis of current changes in the academic profession demonstrates the existence of an increasing internal diversification and fragmentation (based on such dimensions as changes in academics’ roles, employment and working conditions, internationalization processes, autonomy, gender, and age). These results suggest the need to include professional internal diversity in the current debates on changes in professions in contemporaneous societies.

Details

Theory and Method in Higher Education Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-222-2

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Article
Publication date: 25 August 2020

Samira Delbari, Saeed Rajaipour and Yasamin Abedini

The present study aimed to investigate the relationship between career development and productivity of the university staff with the mediating role of self-regulation.

Abstract

Purpose

The present study aimed to investigate the relationship between career development and productivity of the university staff with the mediating role of self-regulation.

Design/methodology/approach

The research approach is quantitative-relational and is based on structural equation modeling (SEM). The population consisted of the staff of two Iranian universities in 2018 out of which 331 participants were selected using Cochran's formula and a proportionate stratified random sampling method. To gather data, the self-regulation questionnaire (SRQ), the career development questionnaire (CDQ) and a researcher-made employees' productivity questionnaire (EPQ) were used. In terms of reliability, Cronbach's alpha coefficient of the instruments was found to be 0.97, 0.84 and 0.88, respectively. Face and content validity were confirmed by a group of field experts.

Findings

The findings indicated that the staff’s self-regulation had a positive and significant effect on individual, organizational and environmental productivity factors. In addition, self-regulation had the ability to predict those factors. It was found that self-regulation had a mediating role in the relationship between career development and staff productivity. According to the results, educational institutions, especially universities, can provide their staff with the opportunity to exploit their full potentials through reinforcing their self-regulation and increasing their productivity.

Research limitations/implications

Higher self-regulation capacity among university staff helps them liberate their potential energy for disinterested selfless service to the society. Higher self-regulation capacities allow individuals to increase the energy resource for self-regulation and contribute to the productivity and quality of life. The statistical population of the quantitative section is confined only to the staff working at Iranian universities. Therefore, our results should be cautiously generalized to universities in other countries.

Practical implications

Our findings can help in empowering human resources and consequently improving education and research processes.

Social implications

Universities play a decisive role in the economic growth and development of countries because of their diverse services in the production and distribution of science and knowledge.

Originality/value

This study was conducted on university’s staff productivity, while most previous researches have been conducted in industrial enterprises. Thus, the present study seeks to fill this research gap by means of providing new perspectives and information on the factors affecting staff productivity and the relationship between research variables in higher education institutions.

Details

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, vol. 13 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-7003

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Article
Publication date: 25 January 2013

Sónia Cardoso, Maria João Rosa and Cristina S. Santos

The purpose of this paper is to explore Portuguese academics' perceptions on higher education quality assessment objectives and purposes, in general, and on the recently…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore Portuguese academics' perceptions on higher education quality assessment objectives and purposes, in general, and on the recently implemented system for higher education quality assessment and accreditation, in particular. It aims to discuss the differences of those perceptions dependent on some academics' characteristics, such as: gender, disciplinary affiliation, type of higher education institution and experience in quality assurance activities.

Design/methodology/approach

An online questionnaire with Likert‐type answer scales was distributed to the Portuguese academic population (n=36,215). In total, 962 answers were collected from academics belonging to the public higher education system. Data were treated resorting to descriptive statistics, hypothesis tests and analysis of variance.

Findings

Portuguese academics tend to support the majority of goals and purposes quality assessment may have, as well as the main features of the newly designed quality assessment and accreditation system. Nevertheless they tend to support more quality assessment mechanisms privileging improvement over control. This support is slightly more evident among female academics, academics from public polytechnic institutions, from medical and health sciences and with former experience in quality assurance activities.

Originality/value

The study adds to the discussion on academics' perceptions on quality assurance, highlighting the influence played at this level by some of their characteristics. It is especially relevant for those working either in higher education institutions or governmental agencies, since it may contribute to the design of quality assurance systems academics are more likely to support.

Details

Quality Assurance in Education, vol. 21 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0968-4883

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Article
Publication date: 8 February 2016

Gina Gaio Santos

Few research has addressed the factors that undermine people’s subjective perceptions of career success. Hence, the purpose of this paper is to further illuminate the…

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4326

Abstract

Purpose

Few research has addressed the factors that undermine people’s subjective perceptions of career success. Hence, the purpose of this paper is to further illuminate the issue of career barriers in perceptions of career success for a specific group of professionals: academics.

Design/methodology/approach

This study adopts an interpretative-social constructionist methodology. Complementarily, it was employed a phenomenological method in data gathering and analysis – with the use of in-depth interviews and a theme analysis. The research was undertaken with a group of 87 Portuguese academics of both sexes and in different stages of their academic careers.

Findings

The findings pinpoint the existence of multi-level barriers encountered by the academics when trying to succeed in their careers. The interviewees mentioned particularly the organizational-professional career barriers pertaining to three general themes: poor collegiality and workplace relationships; the lack of organizational support and employment precariousness; and the career progression standards and expectations. At the individual life cycle level the interviewees referred to the theme of finding balance; at the same time, the gender structure was also a theme mentioned as an important career barrier in career success, particularly by the women interviewed.

Research limitations/implications

One of the limitations of this research is related to the impossibility of generalizability of its findings for the general population. Nevertheless, the researcher provides enough detail that grants the reader with the ability to judge of its similarity to other research contexts.

Practical implications

This research highlights the role played by distinct career barriers for a specific professional group: academics. This has implications for higher education policy-makers and for human resources managers in higher education institutions.

Originality/value

The current study extends the literature on career success by offering detailed anecdotal evidence on how negative work experiences might hinder career success. This research shows that to understand career barriers to success it is useful to consider multi-level factors: organizational-level factors (e.g. poor collegiality and workplace relationships); individual-level factors (e.g. life-cycle factors such as age/career stage); and structural-level factors (e.g. gender).

Details

Career Development International, vol. 21 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1362-0436

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Book part
Publication date: 17 September 2018

Carla Guerreiro and Teresa Barros

In a global world, the internationalization of higher education institutions (HEIs) emerges related with the continuous growing of knowledge and sharing of experiences…

Abstract

In a global world, the internationalization of higher education institutions (HEIs) emerges related with the continuous growing of knowledge and sharing of experiences. The main purpose of this research is to identify reasons, strategies and challenges inherent to the process of internationalization of HEIs in a very distinct context – Portugal. Therefore, literature is reviewed and a group of 10 deans/presidents/directors of Portuguese higher education institutions (HEIDs) are interviewed following a pre-designed protocol. The conclusions of this research are related to economic, academic and cultural aspects. The economic reasons are considered very important since they are related to funding issues. Yet, it was found that there are also cultural and academic issues influencing the internationalization of HEI´s in Portugal, such as the existence of a binary system. The challenges are closely associated with economic and cultural aspects. On the one hand, they are strictly connected to budgetary constraints; on the other hand, they encourage a new shift towards a different paradigm.

Details

Contexts for Diversity and Gender Identities in Higher Education: International Perspectives on Equity and Inclusion
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-056-7

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Article
Publication date: 21 March 2019

Iris Barbosa and Carla Freire

The purpose of this paper is to disclose the perceptions of Portuguese employers regarding the transferable competencies (TCs) that enhance the employability of recent…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to disclose the perceptions of Portuguese employers regarding the transferable competencies (TCs) that enhance the employability of recent management graduates, the mechanisms for their development and the role played by different agents (faculties, students and companies) in this process.

Design/methodology/approach

Participants were 41 chief executive officers and human resource managers belonging to the same number of companies located in northern Portugal. A semi-structured interview guide allowed the participants to express their views through their own words and in depth.

Findings

The participants identified the TCs they seek in recent management graduates, including several cognitive competencies, emotional intelligence competencies and social intelligence competencies. They discerned the curricular internship and the Erasmus+ program as the most effective mechanisms to develop undergraduates’ TCs. The role of companies in the development of the TCs of students and recent graduates was acknowledged; nonetheless, these employers expect greater involvement from Portuguese faculties and students.

Research limitations/implications

Although the results of this exploratory study cannot be generalized to the Portuguese population of employers, it contributes to uncover and understand their perceptions, hence providing a basis for subsequent investigations using larger samples.

Originality/value

Portugal is a particularly relevant context to conduct this research given the recent financial crisis and ensuing pressure on new graduates to deliver good performance rapidly, as well as the involvement of Portuguese universities in processes of international evaluation and accreditation. However, little information has thus far become available regarding employers’ perceptions of management graduates’ TCs.

Details

Journal of Management Development, vol. 38 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

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Book part
Publication date: 1 November 2012

Luís Simões and Luís Borges Gouveia

This chapter describes a research study in which data about the uses of Facebook by higher education students were gathered simultaneously with measurements of a set of

Abstract

This chapter describes a research study in which data about the uses of Facebook by higher education students were gathered simultaneously with measurements of a set of psychological dimensions (personal and collective self-esteem, self-concept, general self-efficacy, satisfaction with social support and with academic life, and several aspects of academic experiences: interpersonal, career, institutional, personal and course satisfaction). The final result of the study is a path model inspired on the structural model proposed by Mazman and Usluel (2010) in which the psychological variables that have a significant influence on the academic use of Facebook were incorporated. A positive total effect of identity collective self-esteem in the educational use of Facebook was found and a negative total effect was found for public collective self-esteem in the educational usage of Facebook (EUF). Institutional adaptation proved to have a significant positive total effect on students’ willingness to use Facebook for educational purposes. Satisfaction with life was not a direct predictor of the educational use of Facebook. However, it was a direct predictor of the use of Facebook for work-related purposes, which was the strongest predictor of educational use of Facebook. Therefore, although the effect of satisfaction with life in the educational use of Facebook was only indirect, it was nevertheless positive and statistically significant.

Details

Increasing Student Engagement and Retention Using Social Technologies
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-239-4

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