Academics’ professionalism and quality mechanisms: Challenges and tensions

Ming Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper provides an insight into the debate about academic work as a profession. It refers to the sociology of professions and explores how academics in a pre‐1992 university in England understood their work as a profession and how they interpreted their professionalism in the context of an audit culture for teaching. It reveals that academics’ professionalism has affected their attitudes towards audit‐related quality mechanisms and resulted in a perceived tension between professional values and the audit. This tension was caused by the perceived bureaucracy of the audit, its time cost and the perception that the audit is a symbol of distrust in the professionalism of academics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-205
Number of pages13
JournalQuality in Higher Education
Issue number3
Early online date12 Nov 2009
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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