ERIC Number: EJ717882
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Sep
Reference Count: 31
Coming down from the Ivory Tower? Academics' Civic and Economic Engagement with the Community
Bond, Ross; Paterson, Lindsay
Oxford Review of Education, v31 n3 p331-351 Sep 2005
This paper examines the degree and nature of universities' interaction with their communities from the perspectives of individual academics. It considers whether academic values and practice tend toward a "detached" or "universalist" perspective in which location is largely redundant and any perceived "community" has a global character, or whether values and practice in fact indicate a significant perhaps substantial degree of community engagement at a local, regional or national level. We explore interaction with the community which takes a broadly "civic" form, and that which is of more specifically economic relevance. This issue is of great importance at a time when higher education has become a more obvious object of political scrutiny, both in terms of its use of public funds and its more general social and economic purpose. Our findings are based on a postal questionnaire administered to a sample of academics, and a series of follow-up interviews with a smaller sub-sample of respondents. We conclude that academics exhibit a strong commitment to engagement and interaction with their communities both in principle and practice; that such interaction often takes place at a variety of geographical levels; and that it is often accomplished under less than propitious circumstances.
Descriptors: Interaction, School Community Relationship, Higher Education, College Role, College Faculty, Citizen Participation, Foreign Countries, Economic Factors
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom