Higher education is trapped in a competition fetish

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

UK“Competition has colonised our world. Everywhere we go, every step we take we hear the siren call of competition. In higher education, too, we are trapped in a competition fetish …” (more)

[Rajani Naidoo, University World News, 15 April]


Irish colleges are slipping. It’s time to let them compete

Posted in Governance and administration on August 16th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“Trinity College lost out last week on an in-demand professor who changed his mind about moving to Ireland at the last minute. The reason, I was told, was resources – both his own pay and those of the university that would employ him. Put simply, TCD isn’t at the races compared with top US colleges when it comes to investing in education …” (more)

[Adrian Weckler, Independent, 16 August]

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The Economist’s Special Report on Universities

Posted in Governance and administration on April 14th, 2015 by steve

Ireland“In its print edition released on March 28th, 2015, The Economist included a 19-page special report on universities, in which a wide range of issues were covered. The opening statement made was that, ‘More and more money is being spent on higher education. Too little is known about whether it is worth it’ …” (more)

[Research on Higher Education in Ireland, 14 April]

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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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There’s still no such thing as a higher education market

Posted in Governance and administration on April 10th, 2014 by steve

“Years after Thatcher, says Simon Marginson, commerce is marginal to the sector. True competition would destroy its essence …” (more)

[Times Higher Education, 10 April]

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Universities involved in commercial research must be wary of breaching state aid rules, says expert

Posted in Legal issues, Research on November 6th, 2013 by steve

EU“Universities’ involvement in commercial research, development and innovation (RDI) projects may trigger EU state aid rules, an expert has said …” (more)

[OUT-LAW, 6 November]

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Zero-sum game

Posted in Governance and administration on May 31st, 2012 by steve

“The government’s ruthless, distorted idea of ‘competition’ will impoverish the whole academy and everyone in it. Thomas Docherty muses on a prescient 40-year-old speech warning of the trap at the end of the rat race …” (more)

[Times Higher Education, 31 May]


Competition Is Killing Higher Education (Part 1)

Posted in Governance and administration on May 18th, 2012 by steve

“Competition, we are constantly told, encourages individuals, institutions and companies to take the risks necessary for innovation and efficiency. But in higher education, competition often discourages risk taking, leads to overly cautious short-term decisions, produces a mediocre product for the price, and promotes excessive spending on physical plants and bureaucracies …” (more)

[Mark C Taylor, Bloomberg, 18 May]

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Legal fees must be slashed, says competition chief

Posted in Governance and administration on June 13th, 2011 by steve

“… Under the EU/IMF bailout, Ireland has given a commitment to remove restrictions to competition in the legal, medical and pharmacy professions by the end of September. Thornhill will recommend that professional representative bodies should not be allowed to control entry to the sector, or dominate the education of people working in it …” (more)

[Lisa Jackson, Sunday Business Post, 12 June]

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Learning from Crunch Time

Posted in Teaching on December 28th, 2010 by steve

“… Here’s what interests me more than any other facet: ‘For some they see this course as a competition. Is it? Should it be?’ Competition is healthy as well as harmful. I see third level education as an opportunity for students to discover complementary talent. For that kind of group dynamic to evolve, people need to appreciate diverse skill sets …” (more)

[Bernie Goldbach, Inside View, 28 December]

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The Concept of ‘Competition’ in Higher Education

Posted in Governance and administration on March 20th, 2010 by steve

“In a paper published in October 2009, Donald Bradmore and Kosmas Smyrnios set out to determine how seriously Australian universities approach the issue of competition. The study’s findings – as well as the assumptions the authors use – are instructive. They cite a number of factors that explain the apparent rise in competition between institutions …” (more)

[Higher Education Management Group, 19 March]

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