Bessant, S and Robinson, ZP (2019) Rating and rewarding Higher Education for Sustainable Development research within the marketised higher education context: experiences from English universities. Environmental Education Research, 25 (4). pp. 548-565. ISSN 1469-5871

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This paper explores one key aspect of marketisation in English universities, the quality-related research funding (QR) system, which central government in the United Kingdom uses to allocate funds to Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), based on a system of reviewing and rating the ‘quality’ of research at different HEIs. Specifically, it focuses on the experiences of 30 members of academic staff from eight universities across England who were engaged in research and/or scholarly activity in the broad field of Higher Education for Sustainable Development (HESD), during the time leading up to the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) submission period. Interviewees were asked to talk about their experiences of being a HESD researcher/scholar within the context of the QR system and their perceptions of the relationship between the QR system and interdisciplinary, sustainability, pedagogic and HESD research. Findings from the semi-structured interviews and resulting qualitative analysis, reveal a number of obstacles facing HESD researchers which are outlined and explored in the paper. Strategies and rationale for improving the quality, reputation and ultimately, the ‘REF-ability’ of HESD research are discussed, and highlight the complex interface between marketisation and sustainability in higher education.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the accepted author manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via Taylor & Francis at - please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.
Uncontrolled Keywords: education for sustainable development, higher education, research excellence framework, quality-related research funding, marketisation
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Divisions: Faculty of Natural Sciences > School of Geography, Geology and the Environment
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 04 Jan 2019 10:25
Last Modified: 09 Aug 2020 01:30

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