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Amanda Moynihan, PhD Student


Amanda Moynihan is currently completing her PhD at DIT which investigates the influence of institutional type on academic work-life. Amanda was winner of Philosophy Award (UCD) for 1st place in BA (Mod) (awarded in 2005), and completed her Masters in Philosophy in University College Dublin (UCD) in 2006; she was recipient of the ABBEST PhD scholarship (2008) from DIT, and also obtained a Post-graduate Diploma in Statistical Methods. Amanda has worked as an intern with the Higher Education Authority (2012), and on a number of international higher education research projects including:

  • The impact of League Tables and Ranking Systems on Strategic Planning in Higher Education Institutions in association with the Institute of Higher Education Policy (IHEP) and Lumina Foundation (US)
  • National Report on Curricular Reform for the European Centre for Strategic Management of Universities (ESMU), Brussels.)
  • Career Development in Higher Education Management: Analysis of European Models in association with CHE (Germany); CHEPS (Netherlands), ESMU (Belguim)


 
Publications and Awards

  • Eddy, P. and Moynihan, A.  (2012, Oct.) ‘Becoming the Ideal Faculty: Intersections of Academic Identity and Institutional Expectations’ submitted to American Educational Research Journal (under review).)
  • Hazelkorn, E. and Moynihan, A.  (2010) ‘Ireland: The Challenges of Building Research in a Binary HE Culture’ in S. Kyvik and B. Lepori, Eds. The Research Mission of Higher Education Institutions outside the University Sector, Springer.)
  • Hazelkorn, E. and Moynihan, A. (2010) ‘Transforming Academic Practice: Human Resources Challenges’ in S. Kyvik and B. Lepori, Eds. The Research Mission of Higher Education Institutions outside the University Sector, Springer.

 

Presentations

  • Moynihan, A. (2012, Dec) ‘Sectoral essentialism: how institutional type is affecting academic work-life’ SRHE main conference.
  • Moynihan, A. (2010, Dec) ‘International Trends and the Irish Academe: how the changes in faculty working conditions reported internationally are being reflected in different types of higher education institutions in Ireland’ SRHE post graduate conference.
  • Moynihan, A. (2009, Dec) ‘Institutional Type and Changes in Higher Education: What Impact on the Academy?’ SRHE post graduate conference.
  • Eddy, P. and Moynihan, A.  (2009, Nov.) ‘Finding the Ideal Faculty: Intersections of Academic Identity and Institutional Expectations’. ASHE conference.

Sectoral Essentialism: The Influence of Institutional Type on Academic Work-Life and the research focus is “the influence of institutional type on academic work-life”

This research examines the extent to which institutional type is a significant factor affecting Irish faculty perception of change in higher education. The Irish academic profession is thought to be experiencing similar changing conditions as those being reported across Europe. The dominant discourse includes increased accountability, increased workload, more pressure to be research active, increased managerial control over teaching and research, less scope for collegial participation in governance and a decline in faculty morale. The changes in conditions have been attributed to massification, diversification, globalisation and to wider socio-cultural trends characteristic of postmodernism whereby faculty function within performative systems of accountability in an environment characterised by a ‘plurality and multi-vocality’ that is not comparable, not measurable by the same yardstick and resists consensus or the imposition of an elaborate pattern.

The research is being conducted in the context of the Strategic Review of Irish Higher Education and the Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Programmes which examined the conditions of academic employment, and the need to increase productivity and assess performance in response to calls for more accountability and transparency. To date, there has been an absence of reliable, independent information on the Irish academic profession. While the changes in higher education continue to accelerate, the lack of information about their impact on the Irish faculty and the influence of institutional type on that impact indicate a gap in strategic planning which this study aims to fill.

As part of the research, extensive data has been collected about the work activities of Irish academic staff including the hours they spend at work, the time distribution between tasks and their student numbers and research outputs. It also draws together information about the perceptions that Irish academic staff have about features of their work-lives including managerialism, knowledge production, changing student profiles, workloads, resources, academic values and staff morale. It compares these perceptions and their relationships to each other between institutional types while controlling for other recognised influencing factors such as discipline type, individual institution, demographic and academic characteristics. To date, there has been an absence of reliable, independent information on the Irish academic profession. While the higher education context in Ireland continues to evolve, the lack of information about Irish academic staff and how institutional type influences their work lives indicates a gap in strategic planning which this study aims to fill.
 


Email: Amanda.moynihan@dit.ie