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Reviews

Book Review: Tragic Encounters and Ordinary Ethics: Palestine-Israel in British Universities by Ruth Sheldon

Review by Mathew Guest Ruth Sheldon is a Research Fellow in the Department of Psychosocial Studies at Birkbeck, University of London. She is an ethnographer whose research focuses on exploring ethical, political and theological encounters within public institutions and everyday life. Tragic Encounters and Ordinary Ethics: Palestine-Israel in British Universities (2016) is published by Manchester University Press. […]

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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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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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