Why universities are being hollowed out

Posted in Governance and administration on September 27th, 2017 by steve

Ireland“Sir, – As a lecturer happily retired from the University of Limerick, I can verify from painful experience everything noted by Sarah Alyn Stacey (September 16th). Let me press the argument further. Why should the ordinary citizen care about this? …” (more)

[Peter Labanyi, Irish Times, 27 September]

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Why students are treated worse than customers

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on May 22nd, 2016 by steve

UK“What do graduates owe to society, if anything, in the context of the marketisation of higher education? I believe that the only logical response to this question is that they owe society very little. The triumph of market-based arguments concerning who should pay for higher education …” (more)

[Bruce Macfarlane, University World News, 20 May]


Higher education – is competition always the answer?

Posted in Governance and administration on May 17th, 2016 by steve

UK“The United Kingdom government, acting in this case for England only (as Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have their own systems), has just issued its White Paper on higher education, setting out its policy agenda. At the heart of this agenda is a simple diagnosis of the sector’s problems: ‘insufficient competition and a lack of informed choice’ …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 16 May]

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Competition law and public services: insights from the OFT report into higher education

Posted in Governance and administration, Legal issues on October 28th, 2014 by steve

UK“Recent public sector reforms have relied on choice and competition to increase the quality and quantity of service provision, whilst also controlling cost, through a programme known as Open Public Services …” (more)

[Okeoghene Odudu, Competition Bulletin, 27 October]

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Scottish independence: Higher education only safe with ‘Yes’ vote, say academics

Posted in Governance and administration on February 17th, 2014 by steve

“Independence is the only way to secure free higher education in Scotland, a group of academics has said. Members of the pro-independence Academics for Yes group attacked what they called ‘marketised’ higher education elsewhere in the UK …” (more)

[BBC News, 17 February]

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Cool it, Which? A degree is not a fridge

Posted in Governance and administration on February 13th, 2014 by steve

“The concept of a student market – and so the involvement of the Consumers’ Association – is flawed, argues Martin McQuillan …” (more)

[Times Higher Education, 13 February]

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Competition and Choice in Undergraduate Education

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on January 10th, 2014 by steve

“Unfortunately, the question of whether the market in undergraduate education is working for students and if it isn’t, what should be done about it is far from straightforward. A key issue is whether and how far it is possible for students as consumers to assess the service they receive and thus exercise informed choices …” (more)

[Roger Brown, CDBU, 10 January]

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The marketisation of our universities is fragmenting the academic workforce, all at the students’ expense

Posted in Governance and administration on December 4th, 2013 by steve

“Business criteria, not education or the public good, drive what marketised universities do, writes Luke Martell. Universities are restructuring for the new era, ploughing money into marketing and glitzy buildings …” (more)

[Impact of Social Sciences, 4 December]

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The marketisation of our universities: Economic criteria get precedence over what’s good in human terms

Posted in Governance and administration on November 29th, 2013 by steve

“In 2010 the UK government announced 100% cuts to the funding of most teaching at universities. To fill the gap, students’ contributions to fees in England trebled widely to £9000 a year or close to that …” (more)

[Luke Martell, British Politics and Policy at LSE, 29 November]

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The greater market integration of the European Higher Education Area may have unequal benefits across countries and disciplines

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on June 21st, 2013 by steve

EU“Since the late 1990s, European higher education has moved towards greater integration, increasing student mobility and more comparable national systems. The past two decades have also seen a gradual rise in the role of market elements in higher education …” (more)

[Pedro Teixeira, Impact of Social Sciences, 21 June]

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Open Access, ‘Neoliberalism’, ‘Impact’ and the Privatisation of Knowledge

Posted in Research on March 10th, 2013 by steve

“One of the problems with Open Access (both the movement and the practice), one that rings alarm bells in certain sectors, is the fact that the term ‘open’ is inextricably linked to neoliberal paradigms …” (more)

[Martin Paul Eve, 10 March]

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Markets versus Public Higher Education

Posted in Governance and administration on December 23rd, 2012 by steve

International“Radical changes to higher education are taking place across a number of countries, from Canada to Chile and the Czech Republic. Increasingly, the political process is being shown to be deeply flawed …” (more)

[Campaign for the Public University, 22 December]


Grassroots protests erupt against ‘first’ foreign campus

Posted in Governance and administration on February 28th, 2012 by steve

“Often dubbed the first foreign campus in India, the UK’s Leeds Metropolitan University has been established on the outskirts of the central city of Bhopal since 2009 on 15 hectares of lush, sprawling land. But earlier this month the university was rattled by the cries of enthusiastic protestors: ‘Leeds-Met University, Quit India!’ …” (more)

[Shuriah Niazi, University World News, 26 February]

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Niches or clones

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on October 14th, 2010 by steve

“… Even more bizarre was the shock expressed by some market advocates when they discovered that, with a customer base consisting of 18-year olds who understood their own preferences, and parents who mostly knew very little), the market produced very little demand for anything that was hard and didn’t purport to offer training for a well-paid job …” (more)

[John Quiggin, Crooked Timber, 14 October]

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Stumbling and Mumbling: The pretence of knowledge

Posted in Research on September 11th, 2010 by steve

“Chris Dillow makes a very important set of points regarding scientific research in the post reproduced below. We occasionally hear similar gibberish here, as in the phrase ‘research to retail’, which apart from the shared consonants is devoid of meaning but has the happy property of short-circuiting your synapses …” (more)

[Shane O’Mara, Irishscience, 11 September]


Universities threatened by market-based funding, warn international experts

Posted in Governance and administration on October 31st, 2009 by steve

Ireland“Universities are being subjected to the same market-based, profit-driven policies that caused the crisis in the financial markets and face an increasing risk of a crisis in academic standards and credibility, David Robinson, Associate Executive Director of the Canadian Association of University Teachers (CAUT), stated at the IFUT seminar in Dublin. Mr Robinson warned that the drift in western countries towards commercialised universities and dubious quality providers must be resisted if universities are to preserve their function as reservoirs of research and innovation ….” (more)

[IFUT blog, 31 October]

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La ronde / The round

Posted in Governance and administration on April 14th, 2009 by steve

France“This beautiful square, right in the heart of Paris, opposite the city town hall, has been chosen by protesters (both students and professors) to stage a ‘ronde des obstines’, loosely translated as the hard-headed round. Since March 23, they protest against the university reform wanted by the Sarkozy government.” (picture)

[Whisperpress, 14 April]

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DIUS promises to ditch the jargon but defends its use of ‘customer’

Posted in Governance and administration on April 9th, 2009 by steve

UK“The Government’s universities department has promised to cut down on its use of jargon after being criticised for its ‘impenetrable’ language by a cross-party committee of MPs – but it has refused to stop describing students and others who use its services as ‘customers’. In January, a select committee accused the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills of producing badly written documents that were hard to understand. Last week, the department said it had ‘taken on board’ the comments of the Innovation, Universities, Science and Skills Select Committee (IUSS). It said it intended to produce ‘more concise and more accessible’ work in future, ‘written in plain English’ …” (more)

[Rebecca Attwood, Times Higher Education, 9 April]

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Academic and student anger grows

Posted in Governance and administration on March 22nd, 2009 by steve

France“The nation’s universities continued to be disrupted by strikes and protests against proposed teacher training reforms last week, while university presidents called for a year’s delay in introducing the changes to allow time for reflection and consultation. Lecturers, researchers and students turned out in force on Thursday, joining schoolteachers and other workers from the public and private sectors, in a day’s general strike in which up to a million and a half demonstrators marched in Paris and other towns nationwide against the government’s handling of the economy. Lecturers voted in January for a ‘total and unlimited’ strike with effect from 2 February. Since then the movement has grown, with universities closed or blocked, while academics stage protest actions such as workshops and lectures in public places, or refuse to carry out administrative duties …” (more)

[Jane Marshall, University World News, 22 March]

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Student protests across Europe

Posted in Legal issues on March 21st, 2009 by steve

EU“As neo-liberal education reforms are planned across Europe, students in the continent have been taking to the streets leading to battles with riot police in several cities. On Wednesday morning, the day before the general strike over one million workers, students clashed with riot police in Paris after a demonstration over the university reforms. Universities across France have been barricaded and picketed for almost two months in a standoff over these higher education reforms. The satirical weekly Le Canard Enchaîné yesterday reported that Sarkozy wanted student protests calmed by May, fearing echoes of the student-led protests of May 1968. Seven people were arrested and 80 injured in clashes in Barcelona between police and university students on Wednesday. The clashes occurred during two city-centre protests in the northeastern Spanish city after police forced students out of a university office they had occupied since November …” (more)

[Infoshop News, 20 March]

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