A Conceptual Framework for Reseach at Canadian Colleges




Fisher, Roger

Given the context of our knowledge-based post-industrial 21st century economy, Canadian colleges are facing increased pressure to integrate research, particularly applied research, into their fundamental education mission which revolves around employment on the one hand, and regional economic development on the other. In response to this pressure, college research is enjoying exceptional growth, but is still lacking in structure and coordination. This article provides a conceptual framework with clear and precise guidelines for coordinating a productive and durable research culture in Canadian colleges. After a conceptual analysis of the types of research taking place in higher education today, the author elaborates an initial model to assess the impact of implanting a research culture adapted to Canadian colleges. The author then reviews the model’s six key concepts (objectives, types, governance, personnel, financing and ramifications) and proposes a conceptual framework that takes into account the particular context of college research in Canada.


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