Academic profession in Europe

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1 Current changes in Finnish academic profession Timo Aarrevaara Professor, HEGOM University of Helsinki Academic profession in Europe The academic profession is a critical part of the future of knowledge-based societies and innovation. Academics critical roles include training researchers and conducting their own basic and applied research Can the European Academic profession compete? with other labour market sectors with higher education sectors abroad 2 Timo Aarrevaara 1

2 Publications on CAP and EUROAC Aarrevaara, T. - Dobson, I.R. (2013): Movers and Shakers: Academics as Stakeholders Do They Control Their Own Work? In Teichler, U. & Höhle, E. (eds.): The Work Situation of the Academic Profession in Europe: Findings of a Survey in Twelve Countries. Springer. (in print) Aarrevaara, T. & Dobson, I. & Postareff, L. (2012): To teach or not to teach - that is the question! In: arimoto, A. & Cummings, W. & Shin, J. & Teichler, U.: Teaching and Research in Contemporary Higher Education: Systems, Activities, Nexus and Rewards. Springer (in print)1 Aarrevaara, T. - Dobson, I.R. (2013): Satisfaction guaranteed! A tale of two systems. In: Bentley, P.J. - coates, H. - Dobson, I. Goedegebuure, L. - Meek, L: (eds.): Job satisfaction around the academic world. Advice from the CAP Survey. The Changing Academy (Vol. 7). Springer Aarrevaara, T. Pekkola, E. (2012): A comparative perspective on the work content of the academic profession. In Ahola, S - Hoffman, D (eds.): Higher Education in Finland. University of Jyväskylä. Aarrevaara, T. Dobson, I. R. Pekkola, E. (2011): CAPtive academics: an examination of the binary divide in Finland. In Locke, W. - Fisher, D. (eds.): Changing Governance and Management in Higher Education: The Perspectives of the Academy. Spinger The academic profession in higher education institutes constitutes a strong community that essentially influences the recruitment of staff to undertake academic tasks the training of those appointed to the positions, evaluates its members competence, carries the responsibility for the quality of work enjoys high social presitige, and bases its operation on a complex body of knowledge the autonomy of higher education institutions will adopt new forms of work closer to the work done in the rest of the society Timo Aarrevaara 2

3 Academic profession: research, teaching, social effectiveness, or to the academic governance positions in institutions executing these tasks academic occupations at universities: i.e. University administration, information dissemination, businesses, science administration or libraries Academic profession Scholarly profession e.g. Light 1974 Staff without academic responsibilities? At universities? The emergence of non-academic staff and the paraacademic profession in universities Academic staff in Universities without academic responsibilities (research and traditional teaching) International synonumous: general, support, auxiliary, or professional staff And third space, one that is occupied by a crossover group of staff (Whitchurch); eligibility to work at academy para-academics or non-academic staff of about persons in Finnish Universities Little considered in the scholarly discussion and analysis of Finnish or Nordic higher education 3/28/ Timo Aarrevaara 3

4 New higher education professionals or para-academics Old support roles Librarian, information technologists, staff developer, career advisor New paraacademic roles Academic skills advisor, learning technologists, educational developer, institutional research officer,, specialist personal tutor, online tutor, research professor old academics All-round academics, lectures, professors MacFarlane 2011 The Changing Academic Profession coordinated by the University of Kassel (Teichler) and Washington University (Cummings) Participating countries include Argentine, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Finland, France, Germany, Great-Britain, India, Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and USA The starting point of the research is the attractiveness of academic career in the competing working market and the abilities of the academic community to transform the profession to achieve aims set by the information society. Comparisons are made between higher education systems, institutions, disciplines and generations. Timo Aarrevaara 4

5 EUROAC extend the overall picture gained through the CAP survey about the changing academic profession establish a comparative study based on the CAP and EUROAC studies and identify the relationships between members of the academic community, university structures and society establish a comparative perspective of eight countries, disciplines and higher education institutions continue its publication and presentation vigour continue to collaborate and cooperate 9 EUROAC thematic areas governance, management and evaluation the move of governments away from comprehensive control of institutions, the growing strength of managerial power within universities, the rise of evaluative mechanisms, and the increasing use of incentives and sanctions are expected to affect profoundly the status, role and conditions of academics academic career settings competing with other attractive occupations, making employment conditions more flexible, enhancing the quality of academic work, and creating more differentiated academic roles and employment conditions professionalisation quality, relevance and efficiency of academic work 10 Timo Aarrevaara 5

6 The ability of the different disciplines to tackle essential problems has varied For instance, the relevance of research information, pruning teaching of poor quality, and the production of coherently performance information are areas where the selfgovernance of the academic profession has not functioned satisfactorily These problems have been manifested as vague university profiles, lack of strategic control, and practical problems affecting the academic profession, such as short-term employment at universities Attractiveness, a Finnish view About two-thirds of respondents were satisfied with their current job and fewer than 10% were dissatisfied Only 16% of respondents thought that they would choose another career track if it could be possible 18% of university respondents expressed disappointment with their decision to become an academic. (Polytechnics 8%) About 20% of junior academics would not become an academic if they could decide now; about 10% of seniors Timo Aarrevaara 6

7 Respondents influence in the decisionmaking process it seems that senior-ranked university respondents know more about the impact of university reforms than junior-ranked academics interpretations: university reforms have not influenced academic units and academic work as strongly as might have been expected those who are influential know more about the reforms information on the impact of the reforms varies between language groups The control Finns exercise over their work department level tripartite system has been lost the influence of the deans has increased scholarly impact: more power now in the hands of deans still, middle-level respondents feel lucky because seniors do more of the administrative work than they do this is also because more issues are delegated to administrative staff, outside the academic dimension stakeholders role: external board members at some universities have not been very visible Timo Aarrevaara 7

8 Retro staff members On context of change: The Bologna process renewed structures of teaching and required much energy from the staff. Personal view: Changes at the national level, such as the new Universities Act and the Bologna process, has not affected teaching or research tasks at all. (senior, male, humanities) Respondents of all academic ranks feel that they have control over the content of their academic work, but the extent of control increases with seniority Pressures coming from work uncertainty about the changes flowing directly from the Universities Act (2009) what has arisen from other changes in higher education outcomes from internal management evolution, such as the full-cost model, SAP or the time allocation system academic work has not changed as much as some expected Foreign academics are limited in their exercise of unofficial authority because of their limited (or no) capacity with the Finnish language. All ranks feel the pressure to undertake research and to churn the students through interviewees from social sciences or humanities are more worried than their counterparts in natural sciences Timo Aarrevaara 8

9 Professional identity research universities respondents interests lie primarily in research, whereas it is teaching in the universtities of applied sciences Women are more strongly oriented to teaching than men Respondents with children are oriented more strongly to teaching than male respondents or respondents without children Seniority strongly connected with traditonal academic identity conclusions From what we can see from CAP survey results, academics are international rather than global. This is connected first of all to national higher education systems, acting according to national demands We have to be careful what the results say Academics are waiting to see which way the wind blows Sometimes internationalisation is based on individual networks and has little to do with the strategies of higher education institutions and higher education systems Timo Aarrevaara 9

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