Occupational Knowledge and Practice amongst UK University Research Administrators

  • John Hockey, Jacquelyn Allen-Collinson
  • Higher Education Quarterly, April 2009, Wiley
  • DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-2273.2008.00409.x

University research administrators and their occupational knowledge and practices

What is it about?

With the exception of lecturing staff, research on occupational groups and cultures within the UK higher education system is relatively sparse. This paper focuses upon one specialist group that plays a central role in contemporary higher education administration: graduate research administrators. This occupational group is of particular interest as its members administer and manage an increasing complex and key area of university life, which in many cases appears to span the putative occupational divide between ‘academic’ and ‘administrative’ work. Based upon qualitative interviews with 27 research administrators, and using Bourdieu's theoretical insights, the paper analyses particular kinds of informal occupational knowledge and practice, necessary in order effectively to ‘do’ the complex task of research administration in the pressurized environment of contemporary British higher education.

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The following have contributed to this page: Professor Jacquelyn Allen-Collinson