Arendt's concept of action emphasises free and spontaneous deliberation among citizens on issues of common concern whereby they try to persuade one another of their views with the purpose of coming to a shared understanding and decision. There are two issues that work against fostering among academics and students a professional identity that is vested in democratic interests. The first is the challenge that a higher education pedagogy guided by Arendtian action presents to the dominant perspective that sees the purpose of professional education in meeting employer's needs. The second can be found in the assessment procedures that both faculty and students within the academy are subject to. The proposition that all professional practices should include a civic or political element may not be accepted by everybody. The author proposal to conceptualise professional practice as the facilitation of Arendtian action, and model this during professional education, therefore, will be met with a good degree of scepticism and outright opposition.