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Third space professionals and undergraduate teaching – A comparative study in China, the United Kingdom and Canada

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jats:titleAbstract</jats:title>jats:pThis research explores the emerging position of teaching professionals in research universities through the framework of ‘third space professionals’. The third space is described as an overlapping space between the professional and academic domains in university and usually staff who are neither traditional academics nor traditional professionals work in this space and considered as the third space professionals. This research is achieved through three case studies, each in China, the United Kingdom and Canada. By investigating the role and positioning of teaching professionals in higher education, this research provides empirical evidence supporting the existence of the third space for professionals in higher education. The findings show that the responsibilities of the teaching professionals are relatively similar at each university, mainly including training academics and supporting curriculum development. However, their positioning in the university and value in supporting teaching and learning can be influenced by their relationship with academics. Universities’ expectations of teaching professionals play an important role in shaping their collective identities. By proposing a three‐dimensional space model for higher education, this research builds on previous studies on the higher education space and offers an alternate framework for interpreting higher education space and analysing university staffing.</jats:p>


Publication status: Published


3902 Education Policy, Sociology and Philosophy, 3903 Education Systems, 39 Education, 4 Quality Education

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Higher Education Quarterly

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