The public discussion of higher education and research

I thought THE’s Chris Havergal discussion (viz 21-22 mins) about the effects of social media on the coverage of universities was extremely interesting. This is something I wrote about a few years ago as the shift from the ivory tower to the glass tower which is a metaphor which didn’t really have much effect but was intended to communicate the visibility to external audiences which now co-exists with entrenched inequalities in how universities sit in relation to wider society.

The near uniform hostility to social media expressed in this webinar is rather interesting. By this point I don’t think anyone could accuse me of being a cyber-utopian or naive about platform culture. But it’s possible to accept that social media can generate unpleasantness while still pushing back against the framing in this video which for most of the speakers has the sense of people speaking back to those who are writing about their lives and livelihoods.

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