Contesting ownership and responsibility: A practitioner research study
AffiliationUniversity of Chester
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AbstractIt is clear in higher education quality and policy guidance and frameworks that higher education institutions (HEIs) are responsible for the awards which are granted in their name, and for the student experience. Within the traditional direct-delivery model of ‘HEI-provides-to-student’ relationship, it is possible to map ownership and responsibility across an HEI, approximating functional and departmental demarcation. Yet this is fundamentally challenged in the context of collaborative provision, whereby organisations which are external and separate to the HEI deliver and assess learning which to lead to HEI credits and awards (also termed co-delivery). This remains an innovative area of consistent growth in the UK, especially for accrediting the training activity of commercial training providers – but also remains an un-researched area. Within co-delivery contexts, the student selects the training provider, pays them, and undertakes their training – and unlike the ‘HEI-provides-to-student’ relationship, the student may never come in to contact with the HEI – but the HEI is still responsible in the same way. Within such a context, who owns the student? Do students belong to the providers of the teaching and learning activity (it is their training, they deliver and assess it, they are paid for it)? Or, do students belong to the HEI, whereby the so-called ‘ultimate’ responsibility of quality assurance, assessment and awarding powers lie? Within this context, a sense of contested ownership and contested responsibility emerges and is never resolved. This paper draws on rich and authentic data from on-going practitioner research from one of the largest frameworks for co-delivery in Europe. It highlights the contested notions of ownership and responsibility in the context of the co-delivery of higher education, and the resultant professional tensions and challenges. The paper also questions these notions more generally, and examines the implications for practitioners in co-delivery and practitioners more broadly.
CitationUnpublished conference presentation given at the International CARN Conference in Vienna, Austria, 4-6 November 2011
DescriptionThis unpublished conference paper is not available through ChesterRep.
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