This is a call for organising a broad-based response to the new Government’s plans for Higher Education, which have already been outlined in the Times Higher Education magazine. To read the statement in full and add your name click here.
An effective response to a dystopian vision
What does the recent election result presage for UK higher education? Evidently, a continuation of recent course and speed, namely:
- removing the fee cap, thus further stratifying the sector;
- more deregulation and further pickings for the private providers;
- breaking up national bargaining on employment terms and conditions;
- intensifying REF pressure through performance management, thus skewing research to serve a political agenda;
- further encroachment of income-generating activities; and
- entrenching the consumerist distortion of the academy through more NSS-style ‘assessments’.
We may expect more commercial and political attacks on academic freedoms; the elimination of academic governance in favour of corporate interests and ‘brand identity’; and further differentiation between colleagues in stable employment and those on casual contracts. The overall effect will be to undermine the universities’ capacity for genuine critical engagement.