An introduction to Scholarship in the Community

In July 2015, East Kent College, along with its partners at North Kent College and the College of North West London, began working with the Association of Colleges on a major three year research project. Sponsored by the HEFCE Catalyst Fund and supported by a variety of professional bodies, the AoC Scholarship Project has been designed to support the development of a Higher Education ethos across the sector by creating a 'scholarship framework' that can be adopted by all colleges.

To do this, the project will explore different forms of scholarship away from the traditional view of University research. The model being used to expand definitions of scholarly activity is based on the work of the late American educationalist Ernest Boyer, and includes not only staff and student scholarly work but activities that directly affect the wider communities of East Kent, North Kent, West London and, from August 2016, Canterbury with Canterbury College joining the project. Of particular interest for all partners is the collaborative work with local employers and industry, and the influences they might have on what is being studied at the four colleges - enhancing employment opportunities is as important as developing the scholarly profile of students and local industry is very much welcome to contact myself or any of the institutions directly to further enquire about the work being undertaken and how they may become further involved.

Please take a look at the live and completed projects. There is some excellent work going on right now at your local Further Education college, and it deserves to be recognised outside of the campus for the scholarly value it is providing to staff and learners alike.

Dr Chris Dows, Scholarship Project Development Manager, East Kent College.