Considerations on a Scientist’s Academic Mission and Roles in a Higher Education School

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Abstract

Analysis of the scientific literature has shown that the mission of a scientist is inherent to an individual and is oriented towards institution and activity or performance being implemented in higher education. Every higher education school defines its mission and vision, thus the aim of a scientist is to act according to the provided institutional mission. Academic staff at higher education schools, according to the attributed roles, performs various activities which are associated with teaching and research, administration and human resources management, work in labour services. According to the roles and activities being distinguished and described, diverging concepts exist for handling the academic staff roles. The aim of conceptual research refers to consideration and description of a scientist’s missions and roles in higher education generally and a higher education school specifically. The answers to the following research questions are provided in the article: What are the levels of a scientist missions in higher education? How the roles of a scientist could be defined in higher education referring to autonomy or interdependence? What competencies are attributed to the roles of a scientist in higher education? The research concludes that the mission of a scientist is related to the multi-layered concept covering the roles, context, organizational structure and values in a higher education institution. It is essential for a scientist to perceive and define their own mission(s), role(s), responsibilities and obligations to a higher education school, students, science, and society. The mission of a scientist in a higher education school rests in certain combination of diverse competencies being applied on both organizational and individual levels. In summary, academic staff roles are entwined and contrasting with each other. However, the roles of a researcher and a teacher are linked in general as the role of a teacher requires accomplishing academic staff activities such as planning learning activities, devoting time to consultations, meetings and discussions with students.

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