The role of the modern university

Universities can play a major role in the development of place-based leadership in the localities where they are located. Urban Answers works with higher education partners to assist universities develop innovative approaches to ‘engaged scholarship’.

Such approaches can advance theoretical and practical knowledge as well as contribute to the improvement of public policy and practice. Here we provide access to recent Opinion articles written by Robin Hambleton for the UK publication, Times Higher Education (THE) - the weekly magazine for higher education. ‘Opinion’ pieces are ‘views on stories making the headlines’.


Opinion pieces in Times Higher Education

There’s nothing difficult or undesirable about sharing scholarship THE

4 February 2010

The government is introducing a new approach to the assessment and funding of research, known as the Research Excellence Framework (REF). The draft proposals for the REF are designed to replace the obsolete Research Assessment Exercise (RAE). Prepared by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), they suggest that scholars should attempt to assess the ‘impact’ of their research. Many academics oppose this idea. This article outlines the intellectual and strategic arguments in favour of research impact assessment and suggests that it can enhance scholarship as well as enhance the influence of universities.


Get out and join the city life THE

1 October 2009

This article suggests that UK universities could be much more active in solving community problems. Some UK universities are now reconsidering the way they relate to their local context and ‘public engagement’ activities are on the rise. But UK universities are still well behind their American counterparts. US universities tend to part of the fabric of their communities. This article provides examples of ‘engaged scholarship’ developed by the University of Illinois at Chicago as part of the Great Cities Commitment.


Scholarship is multi-faceted, but the RAE is blind to its richness THE

19 March 2009

In this article Robin Hambleton criticises the narrow approach to research evaluation being used in UK Higher Education. He argues for a more rounded view of modern scholarship than the one used in the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) and advocates closer collaboration between academics and practitioners. The article, by drawing on the pioneering work of Ernest Boyer as well as current practice in US universities, outlines four dimensions of modern scholarship: discovery, integration, application and teaching.