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ERIC Number: EJ951345
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0190-2946
Intellectual Life and the University of Commerce
Back, Les
Academe, v97 n6 p19-22 Nov-Dec 2011
To an American audience, the demonstrations, strikes, and unrest resulting from the changes to higher education in Britain must seem perplexing. Compared with the $37,000 for annual tuition at a private university like Princeton, higher education in England still seems like a bargain. But the changes now under way in Britain threaten the very core of intellectual life there. The marketization of the university has turned campuses into places of commerce and competition. The increase of student fees is accelerating that process and dividing the higher education sector as rankings grow in importance. Faculty members fear that students will become increasingly demanding and insistent in exercising their rights as consumers. The government and Higher Education Funding Council for England plan to adduce student satisfaction through the National Student Survey, a mechanism widely viewed as inadequate for assessing educational value. One of the damaging effects of the audit culture within universities over the past decade has been the emphasis given to the performance of academics in the Research Assessment Exercise. The result is that academics have focused on research and writing at the expense of the wider mission of the university as a place of learning. A consequence of the auditing of research "excellence" in universities has been the devaluing of teaching. As students become customers, universities are going to have to work harder to attract and satisfy them. In this article, the author contends that a revaluation of teaching could help British universities cope with the government's destructive reforms.
American Association of University Professors. 1012 Fourteenth Street NW Suite 500, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 800-424-2973; Tel: 202-737-5900; Fax: 202-737-5526; e-mail: academe@aaup.org; Web site: http://www.aaup.org/AAUP/pubsres/academe/
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)