Scholarly Teaching: The Changing Composition of Work and Identity in Higher Education

Conference paper and journal publication forthcoming from our initial analysis of the interview data


By February 2018, more than 700 positions for a new type of academic — the ‘Scholarly Teaching Fellow’ (STF) — have been created. The creation of STFs reflects a shift in priorities, both for universities and for staff as represented through the sector’s lead trade union, the NTEU. There is growing pressure from universities to promote teaching-intensive academic careers, mainly to strengthen teaching capacity in the context of rising enrolments. There is also new recognition from the NTEU that continuing teaching-intensive positions can offer a means of reducing academic casualisation. The resulting convergence in priorities has led to the creation of a new category of employment in the academic workforce. Drawing from in-depth interviews conducted for an Office of Learning and Teaching Project about STFs, this paper reflects on the implementation and experience of these positions from the perspective of academics and managers. A collective narrative analysis of the purpose of the positions and the varied experience of academics in the roles will be used to draw out the impact of these changes on workloads, job security, professional identity and personal life.