To celebrate the International Education Week at UCLA, CERS hosted a lecture on Public Higher Education and the Market; Britain, Europe and Resilient Higher Education after the Covid-19 Pandemic. Delivered by professor Holmwood, the lecture took place on Tuesday, November 16, 2021. Our discussant was Anne J. Gilliland, professor of Information Studies at the UCLA School of Education and Information Studies.
The talk considered how recent policies in English higher education involving marketization and financialization have created a crisis of public value. It considered a broad trajectory of higher education from a status-based system to a system of public higher education after the Robbins Report in the 1960 (cf the California Master Plan) and the gradual move toward a market-based system in the 1990s culminating in fees-based system after 2011. This was discussed in terms of a move to see education as a private investment in human capital and research in terms of its instrumental value for users. It was argued that this set in motion a boom-bust cycle, with Covid-19 creating the circumstances of bust. Comparisons were made with publicly-funded systems in Europe. It was argued that marketization was sold to vice-chancellors as removing politics from university funding, only for higher education to have become more politicized and subject to political intervention.
Image: Discover Society.
John Holmwood is emeritus professor of sociology at the University of Nottingham. He is editor of A Manifesto for the Public University (Bloomsbury 2010) and was co-founder of the Campaign for the Public University (2010-2017). He is active in arguments around colonialism and the curriculum and author (with Gurminder K. Bhambra) of Colonialism and Modern Social Theory (Polity 2021). He was an expert witness for the defence in professional misconduct cases brought against teachers for ‘Islamicising’ a school curriculum and is author (with Therese O’Toole) of Countering Extremism in British Schools? The Truth about the Birmingham Trojan Horse Affair (Policy Press 2018). He is co-director of the People’s Review of Prevent.
Photo of author: George Addo.
Anne J. Gilliland is a professor of Information Studies, and Director of Center for Information as Evidence at the UCLA School of Information and Education Studies. Anne Gilliland's extensive career in research and teaching addresses the history, nature, human impact, and technologies associated with archives, recordkeeping and memory, particularly in translocal and international contexts. A Fellow of the Society of American Archivists and recipient of numerous awards in archival and information studies, she has held Honorary Research Fellow appointments with the Centre for Global Research, RMIT University in Melbourne, the University of Liverpool Department of History and the Humanities Advanced Technology and Information Institute, University of Glasgow. She has served as a NORSLIS (Nordic Research School in Library and Information Science) Professor at Tampere University, Finland; Lund University, Sweden; and the Royal School, Denmark. She has also taught courses as a visiting faculty member at Renmin University of China and the University of Zadar, Croatia.
The lecture is also available for viewing on our YouTube channel.
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