Industrial adjunct professors in Sweden: meeting many goals despite unexpressed expectations

Article English OPEN
Fagrell, Per ; Geschwind, Lars ; Jörnesten, Anders (2016)
  • Publisher: Co-Action Publishing
  • Journal: Nordic Journal of Studies in Educational Policy (issn: 2002-0317, eissn: 2002-0317)
  • Subject: Educational Collaboration; Engineering Education Curricula; Knowledge Transfer; University-Business Collaboration

This paper presents the findings from a study of industrial adjunct professors at two higher education institutions in Sweden. The aim of the study is to investigate the rationales and expectations for companies to invest time and money in the collaboration that adjunct professors represent. The study also explores the tasks adjunct professors are involved in. The study is a two-case study comprising 31 semi-structured interviews with university management, adjunct professors and their employers, the companies.The results from the study show that the stakeholders have different expectations for the adjunct professors. While the companies are oriented towards education and students as future employees, the universities’ expectations are more related to research and research training. Notably, the different expectations are rarely explicit or known to the stakeholders or the adjunct professors. The adjunct professor has to interpret the often unspoken expectations.As regards tasks, adjunct professors are involved in research, research training, advisory services and engineering education, although the latter in a limited way. They are involved in the employability agenda and educational collaboration, but except in one single case they do not develop existing, or create new, engineering curricula. The study concludes that adjunct professors could be used as a strategic resource for developing engineering curricula, provided that the expectations are expressed from all stakeholders from the beginning of the collaboration.(Published: 29 November 2016)Citation: NordSTEP 2016, 2: 31947 -
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