Why Is Scholarship Important?
Scholarship has largely to do with currency – that is being able to demonstrate that we are informed and reflective and that what we do is relevant to both our profession and the students we teach.
The Higher Education Regulator (TEQSA) has mandated scholarship as one of a number of threshold standards that is expected of teaching staff or those supervising teaching staff. The 2021 Threshold Standards that are primarily concerned with scholarship are contained in Part A (Standards for Higher Education) and these include -
3.1.2 - scholarship informs course design - the content and learning activities of a course of study engage with advanced knowledge and inquiry);
3.2.3 - teaching staff maintain knowledge of their field of teaching through continuing scholarship; teaching and assessment principles are contemporary and relevant to the discipline).
Guidelines for Scholarship
A closer look at the guidelines provided suggests that UBSS is on track -
A clear and evident model
UBSS has created a clear and evident model of scholarship activity based on the work of Boyer (1990) and adapted by Whateley specifically for UBSS in 2016 –
Supporting and profiling active scholarship
To assist with the focus and participation of all staff, UBSS appointed a Senior Scholarship Fellow (Emeritus Professor Angus Hooke) and created the Centre for Scholarship and Research. These initiatives help focus staff and encourage them to be active in this domain.
Almost daily - publications are highlighted. Further, weekly coverage is provided in ‘The Bulletin’, fortnightly in the ‘Message from the DVC’ - and monthly by way of an ‘Update from the Centre for Scholarship and Research’. Annually, a harvest of activity is conducted and published early in the following year. Last year’s effort (2022) was published in March 2023 with 874 (January to October 2022) hits – a remarkable achievement. Our intention is to crack the 1,000 items in 2023.
Activities are endorsed and supported directly by the Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor.
Developing a culture of scholarship
Every attempt is made to encourage all staff (not only those teaching) to be scholarship-active. This includes Fellows from both UBSS Centres (Entrepreneurship and Scholarship/Research) and stakeholders/supporters who are asked to contribute to the scholarship effort. This sense of involvement is vital if scholarship effort is to be maintained in the longer term.
Useful additional reading on the subject
The following links (selective) provide further insight into this important aspect of work at UBSS.
Emeritus Professor Greg Whateley is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (UBSS) and Vice President (Academic) at GCA. He is an active scholar; a Fellow of both the Centre for Scholarship and Research and the Australian College of Research; and a Member of the National Press Club and the Australian Society of Authors.