Skip to main content

What is the Role of Academic Support in Contemporary UK HE?

Ashmore, Tracey Louise (2018) What is the Role of Academic Support in Contemporary UK HE? Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (KAR id:73885)

Language: English

Download (2MB) Preview
[thumbnail of 132What is the Role of Academic Support in Contemporary UK HE_ .pdf]
This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology.
Request an accessible format


The role of academic support has historically lacked prominence in UK HE, only emerging in literature in the 1990s despite practices pre-dating this. Consequently research is limited and tends to focus on evaluating best practice e.g. academic literacies versus broad skills; embedded versus bolt-on; and centralised versus devolved approaches. According to Bourdieu, however, practices are shaped by an interplay between 'context' - the rules, dominant capital and power positions of a field, and 'perceptions' - habitus, capital and subsequent positions of agents (Bourdieu, 1984; 1998). Therefore in order to evaluate the practices of academic support services it is necessary to consider context - both political and institutional, and perceptions of purpose - of both HE as well as academic support.

The aim of this thesis is to evaluate critically the role of academic support in contemporary UK HE. The following questions offer a breakdown of this enquiry:

2. How are practitioner perceptions influenced by the larger policy context?

Through HE policy, central government has increasingly reduced the purpose of HE to the short-term pursuit of economic capital, thus perpetuating disempowerment, inequality and social divides. In contrast, academic support services champion social and cultural values, recognising the long-term and holistic benefit of education for society as well as the economy. However, to achieve these benefits it needs government to reconsider the dominant capital of society and education, and devolve power over education to those qualified to make educational judgements for the greater good.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Uncontrolled keywords: Academic Support, Higher Education, Holistic Development, Remedying Deficits, Consumer versus Learner, Satisfaction, Learner Autonomy, Economic Capital versus Cultural Capital, Economic Values versus Social Values, Vocational Education, Liberal Education, Performativity, Knowledge, Power versus Empowerment, Policy, Tolerance, Criticality, Training versus Education, Consumption versus Experience
Divisions: Divisions > Directorate of Education > Centre for the Study of Higher Education
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 15 May 2019 08:12 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 14:04 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
  • Depositors only (login required):