‘Academic Freedom and World Class Universities: A virtuous circle?

Karran, Terence and Mallinson, Lucy (2019) ‘Academic Freedom and World Class Universities: A virtuous circle? Higher Education Policy, 32 (3). pp. 397-417. ISSN 0952-8733

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1057/s41307-018-0087-7

Academic Freedom and World Class Universities: A virtuous circle?
24 LL5 Karran, T Academic Freedom and World Class Universities A virtuous circle.pdf - Whole Document

Item Type:Article
Item Status:Live Archive


Using empirical data from over 1500 respondents (drawn from across the UK) to a survey on academic freedom, and the Times Higher’s World University Rankings, this paper is a comparative assessment of the relationship between professed levels of defacto protection for academic freedom by teaching and research staff in individual UK universities, and their institution’s excellence, as evinced by world university rankings. The study reveals that normative protection for academic freedom is strongest in Russell Group universities and weakest in post-1992 institutions. Additionally, the professed
level of protection for academic freedom reported by respondents to the survey is shown to have a positive relationship with the World Rankings’ positions of their institutions. Furthermore, the study considers whether academic freedom may be a prerequisite for, or defining characteristic of, a world-class university. Finally, the paper assesses the possible policy implications of this research for universities and their leaders, and higher educational policy makers, within the UK and beyond, seeking to improve the Times Higher’s World Ranking positions of their institutions.

Keywords:Academic freedom, Universities
Subjects:X Education > X300 Academic studies in Education
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Education
ID Code:33532
Deposited On:05 Oct 2018 08:03

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