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Business and community engagement and the satellite campus (SF19/EIS/CHARLES)

Project Description

One characteristic of the increasingly ‘entrepreneurial university’ has been its shift from a single city base to a multi-campus and multi-national operation. New campuses have been established for a number of reasons, but a key element is often the wider exploitation of the knowledge base through remote teaching in order to tap into new markets. In this sense the university resembles the early international business, establishing subsidiaries in new markets. Universities though have a wider set of social roles and functions, including their role as an anchor institution engaging with various communities in their home base. This model of the engaged or civic university acknowledges the mutual benefits from engagement with local partners through research, teaching and service activities. This project seeks to examine whether such engagement is now becoming part of the internationalisation strategy as well, with branch campuses taking on wider remits within the university including local business engagement.

The project will seek to examine the campus development and management strategies of universities in the UK, and potentially in other competitor HE systems, and particularly how branch or satellite campuses engage with their local businesses and communities. Institutional strategies are assumed to be at least partly isomorphic and evidence will be sought as to how the strategies of diverse institutions draw upon international networks and norms in deciding on the roles and competences of branch campuses. Case studies of campuses and their engagement activities will need to be undertaken both in the UK (rural and metropolitan branches) as well as offshore (international campuses and franchises). Some international travel may be required, but also strategies for collecting data remotely. The results should contribute to theory on the internationalisation and engagement of the university, as well as to policy and practice for ensuring universities create maximum benefits from their campus development for themselves and their host communities.

Eligibility and How to Apply:

Please note eligibility requirement:
• Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
• Appropriate IELTS score, if required.

For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see

Please note: Applications that do not include a research proposal of approximately 1,000 words (not a copy of the advert), or that do not include the advert reference (e.g. SF19/…) will not be considered.

Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality and is a member of the Euraxess network, which delivers information and support to professional researchers.

Funding Notes

Please note this is a self-funded project and does not include tuition fees or stipend.


Recent publications by supervisors relevant to this project:

Charles, D., Kitagawa, F. and Uyarra, E. (2014) University engagement: from regionalisation to localisation, Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, 7, 327-348.

Pinheiro, R., Charles, D. and Jones, G.A. (2016) Equity, institutional diversity and regional development: a cross country comparison, Higher Education. 72, Issue 3, pp 307–322

Charles, D. (2016) The rural university campus and rural innovation – conflicts around specialisation and expectations, Science and Public Policy, 43, 763-773.

Pinheiro, R., Charles, D. and Jones, G.A. (2017) Introduction to special issue: Translating strategy, values and identities in higher education: the case of multi-campus systems. Tertiary Education and Management, 23, 1-4.

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