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Reconceptualising academic development as community development: lessons from working with Syrian academics in exile

Parkinson, Tom, McDonald, Kevin, Quinlan, Kathleen M. (2019) Reconceptualising academic development as community development: lessons from working with Syrian academics in exile. Higher Education, . pp. 1-19. ISSN 0018-1560. E-ISSN 1573-174X. (doi:10.1007/s10734-019-00404-5)


This paper focuses on academic development for Syrian academics in exile. Academic development first emerged in resource-rich, global North environments including the UK, the USA, Australia, and Scandinavia nearly 50 years ago as reported by Gosling (International Journal for Academic Development, 14(1):5–18, 2009), and the majority of research studies in this field focus on activities in global North, resource-rich, institutional settings. Yet academics in resource-poor, [post-] conflict and post-colonial contexts face different challenges and circumstances, and have different academic development needs. This paper extends the conceptual and contextual scope of this field by investigating the experiences and academic development needs of Syrian academics in exile, and interrogating the concept of academic development within that context. It establishes the background context of Syrian academia in exile, before summarising the nature and aims of the Council for At Risk Academics (Cara) Syria Programme. It then outlines the study’s methodology, before presenting the findings of a thematic analysis of a multi-level data set. It then interrogates the concept and normative terrain of academic development in light of these findings, and proposes a model for academic community development to support academic communities in exile, and marginalised academic communities more widely.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1007/s10734-019-00404-5
Uncontrolled keywords: Academic development Crisis Syria Higher education Exile Community development
Subjects: L Education
Divisions: Faculties > University wide - Teaching/Research Groups > Centre for the Study of Higher Education
Depositing User: Tom Parkinson
Date Deposited: 23 Jul 2019 14:23 UTC
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2019 08:17 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Quinlan, Kathleen M.:
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