Williams, Jane and Purcell, Brigid (2010) Developing Academics: Mentorship in Higher Education. In: Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Exploring Meaning, Identities and Transformation in Higher Education, 14th-16th december 2010, Cardiff.

The city of dreaming spires and other ivory tower establishments are rapidly becoming a dim and distant memory. The ‘elite culture’, in which the majority of university staff used to be those who had passed through the system as students, graduating through doctoral work into teaching and research has been superseded in many universities by staff recruited from a range of different backgrounds including industry and vocational areas. Widening participation in higher education has resulted in an increase in student numbers and greater diversity. The outcome of these changes and developments affect working practices and may require the acquisition of new technical skills. The increase in pressure and competing priorities arguably reduce the amount of time available to integrate new staff into the culture and language of academic life. This paper presents findings from a small scale study which explored the role of mentorship in relation to such integration into higher education for those from a vocational background.

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