Reshaping the University: The Rise of the Regulated Market in Higher Education

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Following Iris Young, structural injustice occurs when a myriad of institutional and individual actions leads to outcomes that unfairly disadvantage many people Young, Mapping and militant research from recent knowledge-based struggles to current migrant movements The seminar outlined the strategies and forms of occupation of recent protest movements, focusing on the university movements and migrant movements of the last decade.

Her analysis on precariousness and precarity are key nowadays, when we are witnessing an unsettling and dangerous rise of fascistic discourses. Vulnerability is, then, a key concept for this project. To the Northwest! Rijeka, Croatia, July Call for Papers Since the end of the First World War, cities and regions in Europe, particularly in the eastern half of the continent, witnessed frequent changes in borders.

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However, forms of normativity not necessarily connected with verbal or written language emerge in the social reality. Critique is necessary of any activity, be it artistic, political, or scientific. Venue: Croatian National Theatre Ivan pl. Metamorphosis of Labour. The language of the lectures and the discussion is English. On the occasion, Madam Rector, Prof.

In design and architecture practices, the visual communication and the built environment transmit rules and shape behaviour in a variety of, arguably, understudied ways. How to understand the normative nature of a picture? While classical realists focus on the individual dimension of political actors and their freedoms and responsibilities, many contemporary realists adopt broadly liberal values for political institutions.

How Long is Now? The Re-Radicalization of Critical Thinking. The conference investigated the concept of testimony, notably war testimony, from different perspectives, i. Targeted Killing with Drones? She earned her D. CAS SEE fellows have published or are about to publish an impressive list of publications in the period between and Benli, A.

Diacritica Vol. Sites of memory and the criminalization of authoritarian pasts: Interrogating Goli Otok in a regional and transnational frame. Truth in Politics According to Spinoza, rights of individuals or groups are identical to their physical or psychical capabilities. Does it matter for excluded Roma whether water is public or private? Architecture as Ideology: the perspectives of critical theory Benjamin and Adorno. Adorno, will be outlined.

Robert D. In other words, are there normative reasons against intending harm and other bad effects which are not derived from reasons against harming or bringing those effects? The term is problematic in many ways. It is pronounced from aloof and entails the suggestion that politics is a matter of expertise, not to be soiled by the people.

Zajc in Rijeka was a great motive for another collaboration of scientific and art institutions in Rijeka. I divided the presentation into three parts, namely the three point of views of my approach to the issue of the wall. Social Inequalities on the Urban Periphery? In the past forty years we have been witnessing a decline of public institutions in various areas. First, decline of institutions of welfare state.

Second, decline of democratic institutions. There has been much talk recently of democratic deficit, particularly at EU level. In big societies, institutions also offer information regarding what others do or tend to do. Some theories of democratization argue that quality of democracy and social equality are interrelated. Of the myriad terrorist organizations that emerged in the late s and s, those supporting the destruction of socialist Yugoslavia and the establishment of an independent Croatia were among the most active. Architecture and Anthropocene On the occasion of Prof.

The Metaphysis of Gender. Not Simply a Woman or a Man. Is a metaphysically sound objectivist account of sexed identity possible? Do gender categories exist because we recognize real distinctions in the world or because we agree to use gender terms while according to them categorical force? The simplest analogy here is gym membership: a gym member may easily criticize the facilities and overall service quality on legitimate grounds and therefore be compelled to use the services of another provider.

If, on the other hand, the gym customer asserts that their overall fitness has not been enhanced because of limited service quality, this takes out of the equation their personal role in maximising their chances. The gym facilities might of course be one way of attributing minimal health gain, but this is a tangential factor if minimal effort is expended when using the services. As an antidote to consumerist, private good ethos, the notion of the complementary good brings into play the level of co-production or reciprocal exchange between provider and user.

The process of co-production gives a greater value to the experience as it entails greater levels of personal input and meaning than simply the passive use of a service. A prominent feature of current higher education which carries implications for value is the move towards system-wide performativity which has been shown to be increasingly at work amongst academics, students and institutions at large Ball ; Macfarlane In the academic literature, the concept of performativity is strongly associated with the spread of measurable performance in educational institutions through metrical modes of compliance and other quantifiable proxies of educational output.

This is typically referenced against the competitive ordering which market-driven policy systems have engendered. The preponderance of measurement and measurability within higher education is clearly prevalent in the managed market environment and is used to incentivise behaviours which serve the end goals of favourable market positioning. The attainment of desired outcomes—e. Performative value can therefore be seen in terms of the value placed on quantifiable outcomes and the activities which has potentially affected their successful accomplishment.

A paradox here is that whilst the behaviours that performative regimes engender supposedly serve institutional ends, they ultimately inculcate highly individualised behaviours that resemble competitive gaming within and between institutions Olssen Much has been written on the ways in which performativity has shaped institutional behaviours amongst academics and managers in HE, including responses to research output and league table fixation Locke ; Lynch Rather than just serving as a basic market signal, this is often attributed to a set of institutional factors, including the quality of provision, student support, curricula relevance and employer links—all of which better affect the performative goal of generating enhanced employment rates.

Yet, as has been highlighted earlier, there is no firmly established link between institutional factors and future outcomes. Performativity can also result in a process of so-called gaming on the part of students Macfarlane , including approaches to assessment and jumping through whatever hoops they can to attain desired outcomes.

The stronger value that a student might place on acquisitive learning i. Another salient issue is the continued devaluation of lower-achieving grades amongst students to the point of cancelling any value to their higher education experience if a specific grade threshold has not been met. Performativity can operate in the teaching and learning environment amongst academics and is not just confined to research output and enterprises.

A performative teacher might be construed as one who does what they can to maximise the best possible outcomes, including retention and student performance. Much of the current discourse and related policy on student engagement suggests that this agenda is an uncontested good given the purported student-centred learning approaches practices it engenders. However, as has been pointed out in critical literature Zepke , if this is based on largely behavioural measures it risks having a performative function with questionable learning benefits. Relatedly, formal measures to assess this, including student engagement surveys, can have a largely behavioural and performative underpinning, particularly when associated with criteria around student satisfaction.

As higher education systems evolve and their functions proliferate beyond walled institutional pursuits, questions about their value take on a more significant meaning. This extends to sub-questions concerning how value is measured and appraised, to what end and in what form. Moreover, the relationship between purely intrinsic means-focused value foci and instrumental end-focussed ones becomes increasingly blurred as the functional remit of HEIs expands McCowan In a shifting institutional context, characterised increasingly by commodification, value can also take on a discernibly ambivalent character with multifarious ends Weiler Drawing on the example of German higher education, Weiler illustrates how many high performing institutions are often caught between competing and contemporaneous value systems: between the residual logics of traditional scholastic endeavour and disciplinary affiliation and the more enterprising, managerially facing practices of the new academic capitalist order.

There remain a number of alternative value framings to the ones prevalent in current marketized policy discourse. Traditional liberal conceptions of value have often made an implicit reference to the notion of graduateness, understood mainly as the developmental manifestations of what a graduate has acquired—cognitively, socially and culturally—from HE. Liberally centred value approaches posit that intrinsic value represents more than merely a soft value which confers mainly tacit benefits associated with pursuing higher education.

More recent discussions of the link between higher education and self-formation show that both formal and informal experiences of higher education can significantly enhance student agency and build a variety of capitals, including personal and identity capital Marginson A university degree only becomes meaningful if it embodies experiences and forms of learning that are empowering to individuals and enhances personal autonomy Schneider A related developmental approach which has helped re-orient the value of educational activities beyond the economic is the capability approach of Sen , This has offered important insights to discussions of educational value, particularly as alternatives to dominant economic growth models.

Yet, this is only meaningful if their acquired capabilities are given opportunities to be converted into genuinely attainable outcomes. The life of a graduate extends well beyond the immediate economic imperative of finding initial employment and may also include other life projects and goals. Their abilities or potential to generate personal economic return or add collective economic is only one value domain.

Value is only meaningful if it represents the capacity for individuals to act with relative autonomy and fulfil whatever capability sets they have acquired. However, the means through which these are acquired become important, including what is acquired in the process that has enhanced their capacity for action and potential well-being. The object of value therefore shifts from valuing something as an end itself resonant with one feature of Weber and Dewey towards the extended freedoms individuals have to live creative and meaningful lives. This approach helps reclaim the scope for students and graduates to make purposive valuations about the extent to which higher education has enabled them to pursue options they have reason to value.

In moving the concept of value beyond transactional utilitarianism, wider questions about what higher education can do for students and what their own role is in the process therefore become more prominent. An explicitly utilitarian policy framing of the economic value of higher education, collectively and individually;. The promotion of consumerist behaviours amongst students who are encouraged to view the value of their higher education as a private, positional good which enhances their own relative personal value in the labour market;. The preponderance of discourses around competition within the sector, often presented as a lever for enhanced quality and graduate outcomes;.

A pre-occupation with performative outcomes and exercises intend to capture the added value, or indeed performance-enhancing quality, of institutions which in turn potentially strengthens their formal standing. This article has located these drivers, and their relationship to the concept of value, in a wider context. This context not only concerns the operation of the managed market in neoliberal political economies but also wider contextual factors around massification and the changing economic context in which they operate, both fiscally and structurally.

The value of HE has become almost exclusively framed in terms of what it constitutes and generates economically. One particular feature of many of the market-driven reforms is that they often present a deficit narrative: HE providers do not sufficiently reach the requisite standards now demanded in a market place where the considerable power has been leveraged onto paying customers.

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Another feature of recent market-driven policy, as evident in its largely metric- and outcome-driven approach, is the principle of commensuration Espeland and Stevens Commensuration in this context refers to the reduction of complex phenomena, which are largely socially and contextually embedded, to metrical and outcome-based criteria. It further entails the adoption of largely homogenised units of assessments i. The extent to which current market-driven policies can overcome these challenges is open to some debate.

The introduction of incentives in the form of competition for more students via higher fee tariffs assumes that a strong element of market neutrality exists. Institutions are seen to operate on a largely equitable basis and their positions determined by the institutional quality they internally generate. This significantly downplays the rules and logics of positional markets. Whilst higher-ranked institutions are able to couch their quality in terms of historical antecedents of value linked to an academically elite body student and academics, they have not lost sight of the changing game rules.

Lower-ranked institutions will seek to raise perceived value through formal metrics and other related marketing devices; although, as much of the analysis on student choice has shown, perceived quality and value are pre-determined to a large degree by status precedents. Promoting quality of teaching and finding ways of enhancing student experience is agreed by most to be a laudable aim, as is the endeavour to create some level of parity between teaching and research.

It is less apparent in current English policy proposals how this divide will be resolved. Moreover, recent HE policy downplays the complex relationship between these two areas. At a within-institutional level, the relative value given to these different areas has sometimes given rise to intellectual labour divisions in the attempt to balance competing institutional priorities.

At an inter-institutional level, the research-teaching division is even more pronounced and has already given rise to significant resource and reputational divisions in amongst institutions. The idea that teaching-led institutions will surpass research-driven ones because of the greater attention and resources given to teaching activities somewhat overlooks the complex mixture of institutional, academic and student profiles in different institutions and the ways in which these frame judgements of quality.

The consequences of this position, however, require further critical consideration—not only amongst policy makers but also within institutions. Skip to main content Skip to sections. Advertisement Hide. Download PDF. Conceptions of the value of higher education in a measured market. Open Access. First Online: 13 July In market-driven systems, a number of key principles underpin both the actual policy levers and the textual make-up of related policy discourse, all of which have salience to the notion of value.

In recent UK and US reform notions of quality, employability and economic competitiveness are presented as being inter-linked. Quality is depicted as a driving goal for higher education: students who receive high-quality education not only get an immediate and future return on their investment but also acquire a level of education that equips them well for future economic life. The English White Paper argues that the reforms: ….

Recent policy developments, particularly in liberal political economies such as the UK, USA and Australia, necessitate greater discussion of the value of university for students and graduates, including some of the contestable ways in which it is conceived at a policy level. There are clearly a number of corollaries to the current market-driven environment, all of which have wider implications for the meaning of the value of higher education.

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Reshaping the university : the rise of the regulated market in higher education

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