An investigation of induction policies for university teachers: (re)valuing staff and cultural diversity. 

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Research and Development in Higher Education: [Re] Valuing Higher Education Vol. 41

July, 2018, 266 pages
Published by
Dale Wache and Don Houston
ISBN
978-0-908557-96-7
Abstract 

In an increasingly globalised, neo-liberal, Higher Education (HE) sector, emphasis has been placed on responding to the complex needs of international students, even before their enrolment. In New Zealand, this group currently forms over 15% of the HE student population (New Zealand Government, 2018). Paradoxically, evidence from publicly-available induction policy documents suggests that the same emphasis is not placed on valuing the diverse cultural backgrounds and expertise of international academic teaching staff. Effective, culturally-sensitive induction programs have the potential to improve new staff integration and retention, encourage engagement with a culturally diverse institutional environment, and enhance teaching quality. This paper presents the outcomes of a study that investigated new staff induction programs in each of New Zealand’s eight publicly-funded universities. Our findings highlight the general lack of intercultural depth and sensitivity in the programs. They also show that there is some potential for tension between the needs of new academic teaching staff from diverse cultural backgrounds and institutional policies delivering managerial, organisationally-focussed inductions. We present several recommendations through which universities can improve their inductions, with a view to (re)valuing staff and cultural diversity.

Keywords: staff development, cultural contexts, higher education policy

An investigation of induction policies for university teachers: (re)valuing staff and cultural diversity. 

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Edgington, U. & Swiatek, L.