In the context of a European knowledge economy, the Dutch non-university institutions systematically develop research activities at a higher frequency than before. With this development, they have been accused of academic drift, of striving to receive a status comparable to traditional universities. This study considers the perceptions of both managers and lecturers in non-university higher education concerning the organisational aims for research activities. The intention is to add an empirical base to the debate of academic drift, especially to the potential of academic drift on the staff level. The results show a moderate indication of potential for academic drift on the staff level. In addition, managers have more positive perceptions regarding all aims for research than lecturers, but both groups prioritise that the results of research should, first and foremost, be directed towards improving the quality of education.