Skip navigation

Tag Archives: International Students

Crisis in Education

COUNCIL FOR THE DEFENCE OF BRITISH UNIVERSITIES

The formation of the Council for the Defence of British Universities (CDBU) was announced in The Guardian on Thursday 8th November. See http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2012/nov/08/coalition-thinkers-fight-marketisation-universities

From the CDBU website:

Defending A World-Class System

Universities are amongst Britain’s most successful institutions. They currently occupy four of the top six places in the QS/USNWR World University Rankings, three of the top ten of the Times Higher World University Rankings, and two of the top ten in the Academic Ranking of World Universities, with all the others going to US institutions.

They mark the ‘frontier of possibility’, according to a recent EC-sponsored study, for the efficient production of both high quality research and highly sought-after graduates:

* They produce more academic papers, citations, and highly cited papers per unit of research expenditure than any other country in the G8;

* They also rank amongst the best systems globally in performing all the other functions expected of a great university system aside from research

* They attract more international students than any university system but the US, and a higher proportion of international students than any other system but Australia

Yet the character of Britain’s universities is being radically altered.

For decades, UK universities have been bound by increasingly restrictive management practices, loaded with endlessly augmented administrative burdens, and stretched virtually to breaking point. Now, in the two years since the publication of the Browne Review‘a radical reform of the higher education system’has begun, designed to change its character fundamentally, permanently, and virtually overnight.

Although these radical changes were planned in detail before the last election, no democratic mandate for them was ever sought. Although opposed by student protests, devastated by scholarly criticism, and unsupported by even the most elementary analysis of the empirical evidence, these changes are being driven forward relentlessly without benefit of Parliamentary debate or public scrutiny.

Why has opposition to these changes proved so ineffective?

The basic answer is surprisingly simple. In the protracted recession of a knowledge economy, where knowledge is money and growth is elusive, powerful forces are bending the university to serve short-term, primarily pragmatic, and narrowly commercial ends. And no equal and opposite forces are organised to resist them.

The UK higher education sector is crowded with bodies representing the interests of one academic group or another: The Russell GroupUniversities UKMillion+, The 1994 GroupUniversity Alliance, the UCU, and the NUS, to name a few.

But no organisation exists to defend academic values and the institutional arrangements best suited to fostering them.

The problem is not that academic values are obsolete: in an increasingly complex world, they are as valid and important as ever. But after decades of subordinating them to other priorities, it can no longer be taken for granted that every educated person understands the enormous value to society as a whole of maintaining places devoted primarily to the pursuit of understanding and to the transmission of that pursuit to the next generation.

The CDBU has been established to fill this void.

Academic values need fresh reformulation and skilful advocacy by influential figures both in and outside the academic world. Scores of these figures have now come together to form the nucleus of the Council for the Defence of British Universities.

Find out who we areDiscover what we stand forJoin us.

See the CDBU website at: http://www.cdbu.org.uk

 

Update: 15th November 2012

Academics have started to argue back on higher education reforms, by Peter Scott, in ‘The Guardian’, 12th November (online):  http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2012/nov/12/council-for-defence-of-british-universities?INTCMP=SRCH  and 13th November (hard copy), p.39.

 

**END**

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

Online Publications at: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=pub&sub=Online%20Publications%20Glenn%20Rikowski

Glenn Rikowski’s paper on higher education, Life in the Higher Sausage Factory:

Rikowski, G. (2012) Life in the Higher Sausage Factory, Guest Lecture to the Teacher Education Research Group, The Cass School of Education and Communities, University of East London, 22nd March, online at: http://www.flowideas.co.uk/?page=articles&sub=Life%20in%20the%20Higher%20Sausage%20Factory.

Critical Hope

POINTS-BASED IMMIGRATION IN CONTEXT

Points-Based Immigration in Context: Research and Campaign Strategies

http://www.pbiscampaigning.org/

Conference 16th October 2010
10am-4pm
University of London Union
Malet Street
London WC1

This conference will present new research on issues related to the points-based immigration system (PBIS) as it affects Further and Higher Education. This is a system that unfairly restricts the ability of international students and staff to come to the UK, turns staff into immigration officials and treats international students as potential threats to national security.

The conference will assess:

a) The wider significance of immigration;

b) The full consequences of PBIS on the university;

c) The characteristics of new systems of regulation and surveillance in universities and colleges.

The conference aims to offer both expertise in research but also a focus for campaigners who object to the fundamentally discriminatory nature of the rules.

Speakers:

Les Back (Goldsmiths)

Tom Hickey (Brighton)

Georg Menz (Goldsmiths)

Liz Fekete (Institute of Race Relations)

Edgar Whitley (LSE)

Valerie Hartwich (Manifesto Club)

Joel Heyes (UKBA worker and PCS rep)

Susan Robertson (Bristol)

Andy Goffey (Middlesex)

Su-Anne Yeo (Goldsmiths)

Clare Solomon (ULU)

This event is free of charge. Please go to the ‘contact’ page to register: http://www.pbiscampaigning.org/contact

Supported by Universities and Colleges Union, University of London Union, Manifesto Club and the Centre for Cultural Studies, Department of Politics, Department of Media & Communications at Goldsmiths

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: http://www.flowideas.co.uk

MySpace Profile: http://www.myspace.com/glennrikowski

Wavering on Ether: http://blog.myspace.com/glennrikowski