(2015 – to date)
Funded by SSAHRI Multidisciplinary grant, UH.
Dr Saskia Kersten
Higher education is awash with buzzwords, partnership and partners being two that have gained prominence in recent years. While partnership and partners appear frequently within higher education learning and teaching discourse, there is little consensus about what partnership is (Healey et al. 2014). This interdisciplinary project, Saskia Kersten and Karen Smith (School of Education) investigate the discursive profile of partnership, using a mixed methods approach using corpus-assisted discourse studies (see e.g. Partington, Duguid & Taylor 2013) and broadly following Mautner (2005). Firstly, we try to establish a baseline of common uses of partnership in everyday language using corpus-based methods and existing large-scale corpora, which also help us to pinpoint specialised uses of the term. Secondly, we analyse a specialised web-based corpus limited to academic web pages to provide a more focussed insight into how the word is used in this particular context. Thirdly, we investigate how the term partnership is used within higher education through the analysis of focus group and in-depth interviews with staff and students as well as key policies and guidance documents on teaching and learning partnerships in the UK.