higher education

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Awaiting a Sociology of Global Academia

By Fabian Cannizzo and Nick Osbaldiston Across many borders, higher education has become a mass system, integrated into not only the broadest expanse of national economies, but also interlinking nations in their own right. Higher education is Australia’s third largest export sector and largest service export, reflecting its relevance to global political economy. Steven Ward has noted that, within […]

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Podcasts

The Undisciplining Sessions: Episode 2: Ending staff to student sexual misconduct in Higher Education

In this episode, our managing editor Dr Michaela Benson interviews Anna Bull (University of Portsmouth) and Tiffany Page (University of Cambridge) about their work with the 1752 group to end sexual misconduct in higher education. They talk frankly about staff to student sexual misconduct, highlighting how power is enacted in and through this, and stress […]

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Free University Brighton: Education for Love, Not Money

By Lambros Fatsis, Haley Freeman, Jo O’ Gorman, Dyanne Parish, and Adam Sauerteig In the not-so-immediate, yet still acutely felt, aftermath of strike action over proposed changes (=cuts) to academics’ pensions last winter, debates about who “the University” is and what universities are (for) have taken centre stage. But they have haunted the minds of those working in […]

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The New Rules of Sociological Labour

By Lambros Fatsis Pressures to “publish or perish” have left an indelible mark on contemporary academic life. So much so, that they are often expressed in crude “survive-the-heat-or-retreat” appeals that inspire warnings about ‘the closing of Sociology’s mind’, the ‘hidden injuries of neoliberal academia’, and the negative impact of auditing practices in Higher Education (see here, here, […]

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All Roll Over and None Fall Out

By Ansgar Allen The academy is beset by a survival ethos. Convinced of its value and importance, the university perpetuates itself before all else: accumulating reserves, wooing government and business, securing its market share. For its workforce mere compliance no longer suffices. Employees must remain outwardly positive, pushing themselves to exceed expectations, even as the […]

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Essays

On the Poverty of Student Choice

By Jamie Woodcock and Alberto Toscano After the previous White Paper, ‘Students at the Heart of the System’, which accompanied an increase of tuition fees to £9,000 a year, higher education is now faced with a new White Paper, whose title has a strangely 1990s ring to it: ‘Success as a Knowledge Economy’. When the […]

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Widening Our Participation

To whom it may concernCan you hear your own wordsThat fortify justify normalise these hallowed hallsAs walls of whiteness standing highTo keep us on the other side.Taming us, shaming usLetting us in if we are silent or compliant. But listen up, these walls have eyes and earsYour ugly words and dirty work don’t make poetryBut […]

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The 2018 University Strike, the Tuc’s Racism at Work Survey and Hegemony in Higher Education

By Stephen Ashe Brendan McGeever’s rapid response piece in Discover Society contends that the ongoing strike action in defence of our pensions ‘needs to be more attentive to the ways race, borders and nation are reproduced within higher education itself’. This is urgent. Not only do these issues feature prominently on placards and during rallies, teach-ins and teach-outs […]

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Who’s Afraid of the Teaching Excellence Framework?

By Eric Royal Lybeck Voltaire once said of the Holy Roman Empire: it was neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire. Similarly, the UK government’s Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) released earlier this summer is neither about teaching, nor excellence, nor is it a framework. Still, universities will channel all their energy into further pursuit of […]

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Videocasts

University: A New Way of Life

Bruce Bennett and Brian Baker A film by Brian Baker and Bruce Bennett. Voiceover by John Schad. ‘The university is a critical institution or it is nothing’ (Stuart Hall) The UK government’s publication in March 2015 of a ‘Consumer Rights Guide’ for undergraduate students is an indication that the transformation of British universities from public institutions to privatized institutions […]

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Could universities learn from the TEF’s advocates how better to influence public discourses?

By Steven Jones, Steven Courtney & Ruth McGinity The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) is no easy sell. For a sector already awash with audits, metrics and league tables, the prospect of new measurements – especially ones underpinned by a brazenly market-driven ideology – is difficult to embrace. The ways in which the TEF is discursively […]

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Essays

The Higher Education White Paper: Euphemisms for Destruction

By William Davies There’s a film clip of Le Corbusier in 1925 outlining his Plan Voisin for Paris. The great architect stands over his design gesturing manically to the sweeping modernist vision outlined in front of him. Out go historical streets and emergent neighbourhoods for which central Paris is widely known and loved. In comes a vast […]

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