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Mark Crowder

This chapter explores the role of external examiners within the UK – what they do and how they do it. The literature is contradictory, and there is confusion and a lack of understanding of how the system works, and this has been reflected in comments gathered for this book from experienced external examiners. The foundation of this chapter is an in-depth analysis of comments made on an online discussion forum, which are explored by current external examiners. Thus, the chapter directly addresses real-life concerns, and will therefore help academics understand what might be expected of them if they take an external position. It also offers academics advice on how to gain their first external position – something which is not always straightforward.

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Edited by Marilena Antoniadou and Mark Crowder

This introductory section is written by the editors and presents the context of the book. It provides information about the rationale behind this book, its main purpose and objectives, and its overall structure. It highlights the changes that academics working in modern higher education are facing, particularly how being an academic has now become more stressful, competitive, uncertain, ambiguous and, sometimes, overwhelming. A summary of each chapter is provided, based on three chronological phases within the working lives of academics: entering academia, during academia, and leaving academia.

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Mark Crowder and Maria Mouratidou

Using narratives from four academics in the UK, this chapter offers an understanding of the career paths and motivations of academics from a range of sectors. It uses in-depth interview data to construct a narrative that demonstrates how the academics morph their professional roles over time, illuminating the complexity of career decisions in academic careers. The aim of this study was not to generalise; rather, the intention was to explore four participants’ careers in depth, and thereby to share real-life stories. This chapter answers a call for research into different academic contexts and deepens our understanding of academic career motivations and issues in the UK. This issue is highly topical, and therefore this chapter makes an important contribution to the debate in this area.

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Edited by Marilena Antoniadou and Mark Crowder

This is the final part of the book, written by the editors. The conclusion summarises the key messages that the authors have attempted to communicate and emphasises how this book can be the catalyst for change in respect to the challenges that modern academics face in a volatile context. Taking a personal reflexive approach, the two editors conclude the book by arguing that if academics wish to sustain the values, status and autonomy that characterise the profession, then we need to vocalise and theorise these concerns, which must ultimately be turned into action that resists the current dominant discourse of the neo-liberal higher education.

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Edited by Marilena Antoniadou and Mark Crowder

Examining the modern day challenges faced by academics throughout their working lives, this timely book investigates the ways in which academic careers are changing, the reasons for these changes and their potential future impacts. Contributors with insider experience of both traditional research focussed universities and newer institutions with an emphasis on teaching, utilise theoretical and empirical methods to provide international perspectives on the key issues confronting modern day academics.
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Marilena Antoniadou, Mark Crowder and Jim Stewart

This chapter explores key roles and responsibilities undertaken by academics working in UK Higher Education in relation to the student experience. Based on a case study of a large, modern university, we explore perceptions of three management roles that academics perform alongside their academic duties; namely programme leader, year tutor and personal tutor. Drawing on Brookfield’s (1995) four-lens framework, these roles are examined from multiple actors’ perspectives: students, peers, educational researchers, and autobiographical experiences. This study makes an important theoretical contribution by applying Brookfield’s four-lens framework, not previously used in researching academic life. Doing this offers insight into how each management role is enacted, and how it relates to various aspects of the student experience. These unique theoretical and empirical insights have implications for enhancing the student experience and supporting academics in the enactment of management roles.