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ERIC Number: EJ1082113
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Oct
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1740-2743
Resisting Excellence: Challenging Neoliberal Ideology in Postsecondary Education
Saunders, Daniel B.
Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies, v13 n2 p391-413 Oct 2015
The purpose of this paper is to challenge the commonsensical acceptance of commitments to excellence within postsecondary education and reveal their inherent neoliberal foundation. Because excellence appears neutral, natural, universal, and a legitimate educational goal, it obfuscates the embedded assumptions that undergird the material practices associated with performances of excellence. These assumptions include the quantification and commensurability of learning, teaching, and scholarship, the necessity of assessment and legitimation of accountability regimes, and the naturalness and universality of competition within postsecondary education. The acceptance of excellence as an organizing frame of the university has enabled much of the neoliberalization of postsecondary education in the United States, and as such, to resist the neoliberalization of postsecondary education, we much challenge its commitment to excellence.
Institute for Education Policy Studies. University of Northampton, School of Education, Boughton Green Road, Northampton, NN2 7AL, UK. Tel: +44-1273-270943; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Postsecondary Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A