By John Holmwood
The Browne file advocates, in influence, the privatisation of upper schooling in England. With the proposed elimination of the present cap on pupil charges and the removing of country investment from such a lot undergraduate measure programmes, universities are set for a interval of significant reorganisation now not obvious because the better schooling reforms within the Sixties.
This e-book brings jointly many of the top figures in greater schooling within the united kingdom to set out what they see because the function of the college in public existence. The booklet argues for a extra balanced figuring out of the worth of universities than that defined within the Browne file. It advocates that they need to now not basically be obvious by way of their contribution to financial development and the human capital of people but in addition when it comes to their contribution to the general public.
This publication responds to the foremost debates that the Browne assessment and govt statements have sparked, with essays at the cultural importance of the college, the function of the govt in investment examine, inequality in larger schooling, the function of quangos in public lifestyles and where of social technology learn. it's a well timed, vital and regarded exploration of the position of the colleges within the united kingdom and a reminder of what we must always price and guard in our better schooling system.
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Additional resources for A manifesto for the public university
2 This is the commodification model; now let me turn to the second model – the regulation model. The source of this model, we might say, was the Thatcher regime in the UK. Here the strategy is not to commodify the production of knowledge (or at least not immediately), that is, not to bring the public university into the market, but instead to make it more efficient, more productive and more accountable by more direct means. The Thatcher regime introduced the notorious Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) into British higher education – an elaborate scheme of evaluation based on faculty research output as measured by publications.
Still, knowledge for its own sake – pure knowledge – also needs to be inspired by questions and issues beyond the university. If commodification raises the question of knowledge for whom, regulation raises the question of knowledge for what? All the mechanisms of regulation, whether through ranking systems or through standardization, repress the reason for producing knowledge. Here we have to ask whether knowledge is produced as a means to a given end – an end defined by someone else, whether this be a policy client or a research programme – or whether knowledge should be concerned with a discussion of ends themselves, whether this be a discussion among academics about the direction of scientific knowledge or between academics and wider publics as to the goals of society more broadly.
Responsibility to the integrity of knowledge To achieve education to a worthwhile standard, and across the range of disciplines and subjects, society has a responsibility to protect the integrity of knowledge. Our disciplines, from Clio to Urania (History to Astronomy), have their claims. And without their mother, Memory herself, they are nothing. But memory is not enough. Knowledge that is not added to and reinterpreted in transmission is pickled not protected. The link between teaching and research is therefore not only vital to teaching energetically and ensuring the integrity of knowledge, it is also a way to ensure teachers themselves remain energized and engaged.