Managing the Duals: T he role of manager-academics working in a dual sector institution Bruce Macfarlane, Ourania Filippakou, Liz Halford, Arti Saraswat Thames Valley University. Attitudes to duality Traditionalists
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Managing the Duals:The role of manager-academics working in a dual sector institutionBruce Macfarlane, Ourania Filippakou, Liz Halford, Arti Saraswat Thames Valley University
Attitudes to duality
See further and higher education as representing distinct entities with different educational values, purposes and cultures
Want to protect the identity of own sub-brand of the merged organisation arguing that existing structures are better understood in the educational marketplace
2004 - Thames Valley University (TVU) merged with Reading College and School of Arts and Design creating a ‘dual sector’ institution in England
2005-2008 – A research project based at TVU funded by HEFCE entitled ‘Managing Change and Collaboration in Dual Sector (FE-HE) institutions
What is a ‘dual sector’ institution?
A post-secondary institution that includes substantial elements of both ‘further’ and ‘higher’ education.
There are a number outside the UK in Australia (eg Victoria University), Canada (eg Thompson Rivers University), South Africa (eg Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University) and New Zealand (Unitec)
Duals also include Mixed Economy Colleges of Further and Higher Education in the UK
What is the purpose of a ‘dual’?
To widen participation by creating ‘seamless’ opportunities for student progression within and between further and higher education
HEFCE Leadership Governance and Management project
Stage 1 National and international comparison
Stage 2 Interviews with manager-academics at TVU
Stage 3 Management development
Interviews with ‘manager-academics’
Semi-structured interviews with middle ‘manager-academics’ called heads of subject, directors of study, programme and curriculum leaders at Thames Valley University.
Project contact details
Challenges and responses
Are the aims and values of ‘further’ education compatible with those found in ‘higher’ education?
‘…if you have more FE students than HE students then
you run the risk of the university not being a university…’
‘[It] creates a problem, that you’ve got HE students
mixing with FE students, the cultures are different, the
ethos is different’
‘FE is a much more regulated environment…..HE is more
Geography and communication
Can a large, multi-campus institution with 65,000 students bring together further and higher education?
‘In terms of resources there’s a perception that the library is
very much an FE library [at Reading campus]’
Improving the student experience
How does duality improve the student experience, if at all? Does it make progression easier? Should structures be integrated or separated?
‘where it works [ie duality]…is where the FE and the HE
is separated out on the campus’
‘I was an external examiner for an institute that was
predominantly an FE college, they had separate buildings,
separate common rooms, tutorial systems – they gave their
FE students something to aspire to’
Development and identity
How does duality impact on the self-identity of academics and the institution? What are the implications for the development of staff?
‘There are some people in further education who are not as
academically qualified….and I think they now feel slightly
‘I am not sure it [ie the merged institution] is really
understood…how we market ourselves and how we promote
what we do and make it understood is quite critical..’
Favour two separate but strong further and higher education parts of the merged institution as a more effective means of achieving student progression and managing the demands of external funders and quality agencies
Favour integration of cultures of further and higher education to improve student progression arguing that boundaries between further and higher education have already blurred