Higher Education Research Agendas for the Coming Decade: A UK Perspective on the Policy-Research Nexus
Studies in Higher Education Volume 39, Number 8, ISSN 0307-5079
From the perspective of the UK, this paper addresses two main themes. It presents a higher education (HE) research agenda for the next decade linked to key policy challenges and reflects on the dynamics of the research-policy landscape. The paper begins by identifying four dimensions of the UK that will continue to be important as a focus for research and policy and goes on to identify seven policy challenges, posing these as questions for research at micro- and meta-levels of analysis. The paper illustrates relationships between HE research and policy development and discusses the range of actors now engaged in the policy-research landscape where a wide range of "evidence" is drawn upon by policy-makers. The challenge facing researchers is to ensure that longer term and deeper issues are not neglected in the rush for funding and short-term policy impact. While successful researchers engage in policy networks, they also need to maintain a critical distance from policy; and policy-makers themselves must recognise that independent enquiry provides the best service for the development of both HE and wider society.
Middlehurst, R. (2014). Higher Education Research Agendas for the Coming Decade: A UK Perspective on the Policy-Research Nexus. Studies in Higher Education, 39(8), 1475-1487.