Reconceptualising academic development as community development: lessons from working with Syrian academics in exile

Parkinson, Tom, McDonald, Kevin ORCID logoORCID: and Quinlan, Kathleen M. (2020) Reconceptualising academic development as community development: lessons from working with Syrian academics in exile. Higher Education, 79 (2) . pp. 183-201. ISSN 0018-1560 [Article] (doi:10.1007/s10734-019-00404-5)

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This paper focuses on academic development for Syrian academics in exile. Academic development first emerged in resource-rich, global North environments including the UK, the USA, Australia, and Scandinavia nearly 50 years ago as reported by Gosling (International Journal for Academic Development, 14(1):5–18, 2009), and the majority of research studies in this field focus on activities in global North, resource-rich, institutional settings. Yet academics in resource-poor, [post-] conflict and post-colonial contexts face different challenges and circumstances, and have different academic development needs. This paper extends the conceptual and contextual scope of this field by investigating the experiences and academic development needs of Syrian academics in exile, and interrogating the concept of academic development within that context. It establishes the background context of Syrian academia in exile, before summarising the nature and aims of the Council for At Risk Academics (Cara) Syria Programme. It then outlines the study’s methodology, before presenting the findings of a thematic analysis of a multi-level data set. It then interrogates the concept and normative terrain of academic development in light of these findings, and proposes a model for academic community development to support academic communities in exile, and marginalised academic communities more widely.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Law > Criminology and Sociology
Item ID: 26931
Notes on copyright: © The Author(s) 2019
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
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Depositing User: Kevin Mcdonald
Date Deposited: 15 Jul 2019 14:18
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2022 10:32

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