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The Organisation of Academic Knowledge: a comparative perspective.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date1/12/2003
JournalHigher Education
Journal number4
Volume46
Number of pages22
Pages389-410
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

How is academic knowledge organized? Does thisvary from country to country, and, if so, how?This paper explores these questions through anexamination of some of the data included in theCommonwealth Universities Yearbook 2001.In particular, an analysis is presented of thedifferent names given to basic academic units(departments, schools and/or faculties) inAustralia, Nigeria and the United Kingdom.Evidence is provided regarding forms ofinstitutional organization, and of the varyingstrength of different disciplines or fields ofstudy.

Bibliographic note

A comparative analysis of how universities are structured, in terms of academic departments, schools, faculties and centres ' in Australia, Nigeria and the United Kingdom. The analysis made use of data included in the Commonwealth Universities Yearbook 2001, relating to a total of 5262 basic academic units. The main conclusion relates to the astonishing diversity of patterns, with the great majority of academic unit titles in all three systems being unique. While some differences were apparent in institutional organisation between the three systems, the similarities (i.e. the intra-system diversity) were much greater. The greater consistency in the naming of longer established academic units was noted, as well as the greater frequency with which some disciplines or areas of study were present. A basic pattern of departments for an idealised university is presented. RAE_import_type : Journal article RAE_uoa_type : Education