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    Mutualising the university: achieving community impact through an ecosystem

    Powell, Philip and Walsh, Anita (2018) Mutualising the university: achieving community impact through an ecosystem. International Review of Education 64 , pp. 563-583. ISSN 0020-8566.

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    Public dissatisfaction with academic research, coupled with the rising costs of higher education (HE) and reduced government funding, are forcing academics to convince society of the benefits of their research. This article argues that pressures on higher education institutions (HEIs) in a market model create a need to be responsive to students and employers and to demonstrate institutional impact. However, the assessment of this impact tends to be based on quantifiable data, statistics, etc. of the kind which work well for natural sciences, but pose challenges for social sciences. Thus, areas of impact are often overlooked which may be more immediate in their effect, and deliver benefits which go beyond those claimed for the current impact model. They derive from activities that involve formal learning in the curriculum, pre-labour market entry and executive education; informal extra-curricular activities; organisational benefit generated by individual students' activities and by the co-creation of knowledge in jointly tailored programmes; a range of enterprise activities supporting student innovation and creativity; and public engagement, creating a space for debate and the exchange of views. Recognising this broad nature of impact across a range of contexts, the authors of this article suggest two mechanisms which might be helpful in thinking about identifying wider impact. The first, mutuality, involves co-operation between HEIs and their communities in a series of relationships, reaching beyond the transactional. The second, the development of an HEI-centred ecosystem - an intentional collaborative community -, provides a vehicle which harnesses synergy to enhance impact on a set of stakeholders across a variety of dimensions. The authors describe the characteristics of an ecosystem developed for an HEI in the United Kingdom (UK).


    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: The final publication is available at Springer via the link above.
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Business and Law > Birkbeck Business School
    Research Centres and Institutes: Data Analytics, Birkbeck Institute for
    Depositing User: Anita Walsh
    Date Deposited: 20 Aug 2018 13:49
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:43


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