How can universities ensure that strategic aims to integrate research and teaching through engaging students in research-based experiences be effectively realised within institutions? This paper reports on the findings of a qualitative study exploring academics’ perceptions of the challenges and barriers to implementing undergraduate research. Academics were asked about perceived constraints and enablements, how they defined undergraduate research, the forms of undergraduate research used, and they were encouraged to provide examples. Perceived constraints included particular institutional policies and structures, academics’ mindsets and lack of skills and questions of time and money. It was found that different definitions of undergraduate research lead to different practices and varying opportunities for further development. This paper presents different forms of engagement in undergraduate research allied to these different definitions and it draws on interviewees’ ideas about what has been enabling in their context to suggest possible strategies for institutions to move forward.
- institutional change
- teaching and research relationships
- teaching policy
- undergraduate curricula