One Thought To Start Your Day
To sum up the week’s arguments:
Neoliberalism is about markets. There are actually very few genuine markets in higher education and where there are they can be quite beneficial especially with respect to access. Neoliberalism is about competition. There is competition in higher education, especially status competition but it mostly predates actual neoliberalism. Some people claim neoliberalism is about managerialism and performance metrics but this is a genuinely terrible and ahistorical argument.
However, I think there are two additional arguments … [ Read More ]
To date, we have looked at market mechanisms and competition in universities and shown that a) they aren’t in fact all that neo-liberal and b) particularly with respect to expanding access, there are some upsides. Today I want to look at two other facets of modern universities that often get described as neo-liberal: performance data and management.
There is some variety in the way this topic is approached – see this blog from the London School of Economics (h/t to Marc Spooner for pointing me to … [ Read More ]
One of the key accusations about universities and neoliberalism is that the system is too obsessed with competition. On the face of it, this looks like the easiest argument to make about neoliberal universities: neoliberal thought does put a lot of emphasis on competition, and institutions do talk a lot about “competing” for students and staff and governments like the notion that institutions “compete” against one another. Among faculty members, institutions “compete” for research funding; in some countries, they literally compete … [ Read More ]
Yesterday I talked about how the notion of neo-liberal universities was based on four concepts: greater use of market mechanisms, increased use of competitions, the role of performance data and, more broadly, the question of institutional management. Today I’m going to look at the first and maybe more important of those issues: are universities subject to greater market mechanisms now than they were before? Are there universities in other parts of the world which are not subject to the same … [ Read More ]
The term “neoliberal university” gets bandied around a lot. But what does it mean?
Neoliberalism is hard to write about sensibly because there’s a lack of basic agreement about what the term means. This isn’t just about yahoos using “neoliberal” as a synonym for “The Man” or “something I happen to dislike” (though that does happen a lot); even those who want to write about the subject are faced with some real problems in defining it.
The definition of any … [ Read More ]