Higher education research-policy-practice nexus - Canada and UK case studies

Aleksandar Avramović, Damaris Clark, Hacer Tercanli, Marsela Giovani Husen


Researchers, policy makers and practitioners tend not to work closely enough when it comes to higher education policy creation and implementation. Canada and United Kingdom (UK) are examples of countries where disconnection in the research nexus is present and is causing many problems. In Canada, data collection and policy research systems are in decline and many government agencies were closed or their funding is reduced in recent years. This means that their policies will not be based on real data and research. Also, even when data and research exist, policy makers tend not to follow researchers’ recommendations. In the UK, the situation with data collection is better, but policy makers tend to interpret research results out of context and in a way, that suits them best. Furthermore, policy makers tend to use research only to legitimize their own actions. Higher education policy research has to be strengthened in both countries and the three groups of actors must have better communication in order to create and implement good higher education policies and strategies. More funding is always needed but in these two country cases it can’t be the only solution for a strengthened research nexus.


Key words: nexus, higher education, policy research, Canada, United Kingdom

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