Developing a culture of scholarship
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Developing a culture of scholarship

From the outset it is important to actually understand what scholarship is all about. Each institution needs to focus in on how best they are served – one size does not fit all!

The UBSS focus

Compliant with the national regulator (TEQSA), UBSS has a clear understanding of what scholarship encompasses and this includes domains such as positions held; professional memberships; conferences and symposia attended or presented at; articles and papers written; self-education activities; teaching at other institutions (ideal for benchmarking); and formal courses undertaken. This framework provides a comprehensive coverage of the type of scholarly activities to be undertaken and is used as the template, each year, for harvesting activity (and subsequently recording the information in a transparent and accessible way).

From the top down

In order to facilitate a ‘culture of scholarship’, everyone within the larger institution (GCA) are encouraged to contribute. The CEO and President for example is a prolific columnist focusing on matters entrepreneurial – a recent survey showed he was the most active in comparison to peers. All six of the Board members are scholarship active and as a result they bring to the table a wealth of experience – and most importantly a positive example for others within the institution.

A matter of high priority

Scholarship is viewed as a high priority within the organisation. The focus sits squarely within the Office of the Deputy Vice Chancellor (who is scholarship active) and permeates through the ranks. A particular emphasis is placed on promoting scholarly activity and in turn recording and profiling each and every activity – usually on a daily basis – as a means of ensuring positive reinforcement and encouragement to participate.

Ongoing support provided

In addition, in 2020, GCA appointed a Senior Scholarship Fellow (within the Office of the DVC) to support, encourage and assist with the teaching staff in the domain of publishing. Though only one aspect of scholarship – it is a relatively easy area to gain momentum and provide empirical evidence of activity. Further, it provides an opportunity to resource teaching and learning with targeted topics and research.

Maximising opportunity for scholarly activity

UBSS provides ample internal opportunities for scholarly activity by means of regular professional development sessions that assist in understanding what scholarship is all about; developing a UBSS publication series (6 editions each year); profiling successful activities on a weekly and monthly basis through various updates and publications; and encouraging staff to work externally wherever possible developing benchmarking and diversity of scholarship.

Based on what we have seen to date, and in comparison with like providers, the UBSS/GCA model appears to be working.

 

 

Emeritus Professor Greg Whateley is the Deputy Vice Chancellor at UBSS and the Vice President, Academic (Academic) at GCA

Anurag Kanwar is the Director, Compliance and Continuous Improvement at GCA