Past Event details

The rise of the Dual Professional: from practitioner to lecturer

Wednesday, 03 February 2021

The university workforce is changing.  Teichler et al.  (2013) identify clear trends internationally, further evidenced by Bosanquet et al. (2017) concerning increasingly casualised employment in Australian universities and the relatively small proportion of doctoral students who gain a permanent academic role. Locke et al. (2016) and Whitchurch (2012) identify people embarking on a second (or parallel) career as an HE educator after (or combined with) a first career, e.g. industry, performing arts or social work. These dual/blended professionals are experts in their field, yet sometimes can be novices in their new environment.

Dual/blended professionals’ experience is immensely valuable.  It exposes students to workplace expertise, promoting the integration of workplace-like approaches into the curriculum.  It responds to value-for-money discourse about degrees, e.g. Belfield et al. (2018), scrutiny of graduates’ job-readiness, e.g. Moore and Morton (2017); Tomlinson (2017), and helps bridge ‘the disparity between industry needs and higher education provision’ (Jackson 2013: 778).  This industry insight may be especially critical in the wake of Covid19.

Early career educators’ different educational, cultural and life experiences influence their approach to learning about the nature of academic life and work (Fanghanel 2011; Teichler et al. 2013; Wohrer 2014).  Those coming from workplaces with different beliefs and practices may experience bemusement, disconnection or disorientation in a university setting, or anxiety about their legitimacy.    Institutions need to be creative in supporting these individuals as they simultaneously attempt to make sense of their HE educator’s role, maintain legitimacy in their professional one and address the creative challenges of reframing their identity.

 Are institutions and individuals prepared to be that creative?  What helps or hinders individuals grappling with the complexities of identity?   What are the lived experiences of these staff and the implications for those who support them?  How has the impact of Covid19 affected dual/blended professionals?

The discussion draws on research undertaken in 18 UK universities across a range of disciplines.  We begin with a brief overview of the policy context leading to the emergence of dual professionals, followed by papers exploring different aspects of these challenges for dual professionals.  These papers collectively offer new insights into how institutions can celebrate the expertise of these staff and ensure professional development enables creative links, integrating practice and HE. 


11.00-11.05:    Welcome. Structure of the day. Bring your own coffee!  

11.05-11.25:    ‘The policy context: the increasing importance of the blended professional in Higher Education.’

                           Dr Emily McIntosh, Middlesex University, London

11.25 - 11.30      Questions 

11.30– 11.50:    ‘Transitions in Higher Education: professionalism and professional identity’.

Dr Julia Hope, University of Kent

11.50   11.55         Questions 

11.55 – 12.15      Reflection, comments, small-group discussion: Implications for institutions

 12.15- 12.30         Feedback from Groups 

12..30 – 13.00       Lunch

Focus question: Impact of COVID in how we work with and support blended professionals. What are the opportunities and challenges of this new way of working?


13.00 -13.20         Performing Arts to Academia: from creativity to conformity?

   Dr Pauline Miller Judd, Edinburgh Napier University

13.20 -13.05            Questions 

13.05- 13.25:        Communities of practice, trajectories and identities.

                                 Fran Beaton, University of Kent


13.25 - 13.30          Questions 

13.30 – 13.50      Reflection, comments and small-group discussion

  Next steps: implications for academic practice and development


13.50 -14.15        Closing panel discussion


Fran Beaton is senior lecturer in Higher Education and Academic Practice at the University of Kent, with research interests around academic identity and staff transitions into higher education.

Julia Hope is a Senior Lecturer in Higher Education and Academic Practice at the University of Kent, with research interests around the transition of staff and students into higher education.

Pauline Miller Judd is an Associate Professor working in the areas of leadership and creative industries at Edinburgh Napier University, with research interests in identity in academia and creative arts.

Emily McIntosh is Director of Learning, Teaching and Student Experience at Middlesex University, London, with research interests in academic identity, third space professionals, academic/personal tutoring and student success in higher education.  

Network: SRHE Event
Date(s): Wednesday, 03 February 2021
Times: 11.00-14.15
Location: Online event - link will be provided
This event has expired
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