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Further/Higher education partnerships: A street level perspective

Gray, Claire (2014) Further/Higher education partnerships: A street level perspective. EdD thesis, University of Sheffield.

The full text of this thesis is not available.


This thesis is situated within the context of higher education partnership arrangements with colleges of further education. A growing literature focusses on higher education policy and its ramifications for this area of the higher education sector, accounting for one in ten undergraduates. Similarly there is growing recognition of the particular identity of college higher education practitioners and in particular comparative evaluations with academic staff in universities. This work departs from these fields through the focus on the partnership as a mechanism of higher education provision and a determinant of the nature of this provision. The complexity of such arrangements are underwritten by a lack of congruence within policy frameworks at a macro level leaving a wide remit for universities and partners to interpret and implement. Structural interpretations of partnership arrangements within literature place the college on the periphery of higher education and hierarchically on the bottom rung of a stratified and increasingly marketised sector. Whilst accepting the premise, this work provides a more nuanced account of how partnership is operationalised and experienced by those who work in it and are served by it. Theoretical conceptions on power, identity, agency and the higher education market are introduced and employed as tools of analysis. Using an approach which draws on these concepts across disciplines of political science, organisational analysis and sociology, a picture is presented of partnerships in a state of change. The central role of the college, as partner in development of higher education provision, and holder of the power of implementation, is juxtaposed against assumptions of a relative deficit in agency. The concept of the street level bureaucrat is adapted and provides a theorised account of the implementing power and agency of colleges in determining the experience of higher education for the one in ten students studying within a college.

Item Type: Thesis (EdD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > School of Education (Sheffield)
The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Claire Gray
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2014 10:55
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2014 10:55
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/7138

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