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ERIC Number: EJ835420
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 3
ISSN: ISSN-1195-4353
Research and the Polytechnic
Jones, Glen A.; Gopaul, Bryan
College Quarterly, v9 n3 Sum 2006
In 1994, the Government of Norway initiated a major restructuring of the non-university sector. Almost one hundred vocationally-oriented institutions were amalgamated to create twenty-six comprehensive, autonomous colleges. Nursing education was completely reorganized. Once offered in specialized schools closely linked to hospitals, nursing became a professional program within the new degree-granting colleges. Nurse educators found themselves in a new institutional environment that valued teaching and research. In this article, the authors illustrate with the Norwegian case two key points that they believe are extremely important in any discussion of introducing a research function to institutions that had previously focused only on teaching. The first, and perhaps the most obvious, point is that in the absence of institutional policies that steer research in alternative directions, there is a natural tendency for faculty to follow the traditional patterns of scholarly activity associated with the research university. The second point is that research has implications for resources, especially faculty time. There are many reasons for polytechnics to define a research mission that is directly related to their distinctive objectives and structures. Perhaps the most basic is that many of the institutions that would have been regarded as polytechnics a few decades ago no longer exist as distinct institutional forms. The college of applied education in Australia, the polytechnics of the United Kingdom, and even the local Ryerson Polytechnic have been merged or transformed into components of the university sector. Over time, these institutions simply became less distinctive, a phenomenon that is frequently described as academic drift. The authors contend that if polytechnics are to remain distinctive institutions, they should pursue a research function that reflects their distinctive mission, and that means defining, organizing, and assessing research in ways that reflect this mission.
Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology. 1750 Finch Avenue East, Toronto, Ontario M2J 2X5, Canada. Tel: 416-491-5050; Fax: 905-479-4561; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia; Norway; United Kingdom