Tag: higher education

  • Higher education and the individualization of COVID-19

    Higher education and the individualization of COVID-19

    What’s going to happen in UK universities in September? This piece from Jim Dickinson seems plausible about the possible intersection between ‘learning to live with the virus’ (in other words the individualization of the problem once the vaccine programme is mostly or entirely complete) and the ‘migration event’ which takes place at the start of each academic year.

  • Higher education as self-formation

    I found this really helpful for revisiting my PhD, seven years on, in order to finally publish from it. I’m broadly sympathetic with the project expressed in this lecture but the point of departure is his claim that higher education increases the capacity for reflexivity. This just isn’t true as an empirical generalisation and examining […]

  • Automation and the reproduction of knowledge

    I understand the allure which MOOCs can have for those inspired by the idea. Why relegate people to second tier tuition at regional universities when the best teachers in the world could teach everyone remotely at little cost? There are many problems with this vision but one that’s little remarked upon is the question of […]

  • How many professors are part of the 1%?

    An obvious question raised by this fact on loc 270 of Andrew Sayer’s Why We Can’t Afford the Rich is how many professors are part of this 1%? Many can be found within business schools and medical schools but anecdote suggests they can be found throughout the university system: In fact, the inequalities within the […]

  • Unbundling the university

    My notes on Newfield, C. (2019). Unbundling the knowledge economy. Globalisation, Societies and Education, 1-9. Far from being distinct institutions at a remove from society, this special issue explores their many interconnections with social and political life. Once we recognise the mutating character of the university, transforming and growing in a way which reflects wider […]

  • The Platform University

    The Platform University

    This special issue of Discover Society collects articles from speakers at last year’s inaugrial Platform University conference at the University of Cambridge. It has been published to coincide with the release of the call for papers for the second conference, taking place in December at Lancaster University. The Platform University, by Mark Carrigan Assembling the […]

  • The coming supply crisis in UK higher education

    This is a fascinating analysis of demographic trends in the UK, considering the implications of a coming expansion of 18 year olds for UK higher education in the 2020s. Extrapolating forward from current application rates, 50% of this cohort will be applying to go to university and the system is currently ill equipped to absorb […]

  • The promise of university bureaucracy: academic neoliberalism as project rather than outcome

    My notes on Nash, K. (2018). Neo-liberalisation, universities and the values of bureaucracy. The Sociological Review, 0038026118754780. It is too easy to frame neoliberalism in institutions as an outcome rather than a project. In this thoughtful paper, Kate Nash explores the space which this recognition opens up, the “competing and contradictory values in the everyday life of public sector organisations” […]

  • The coming big data revolution within higher education

    It seems passé to talk about the ‘big data revolution’ in 2017. Much of the initial hype has subsided, leaving us in a different situation to the one in which big data was expected to sweep away all that had come before. Instead, we have the emergence of data science as well as the institutionalisation […]

  • The Polysemic University

    From Making Sociology Public, by Lambros Fatsis, pg 240: Having already introduced Cardinal Newman’s ivory tower conception of the university, and Minister Humboldt’s equally idealistic depiction of it as a hub of culture and academic freedom, Barnett’s (2013) anthology of epithets, each of which furnishes 240 a different vision of and for the university, is […]

  • The ambivalent promise of higher education

    In the latest collection of talks from Audrey Watters, The Curse of the Monsters of Educational Technology, she addresses an uncomfortable issue in higher education: the unrealistic claims made about the transformative aspect of university attendance. From loc 397-413: These questions get at what is an uncomfortable and largely unspoken truth about education. That is, […]

  • The Place That Sends You Mad

    Thanks to James Duggan for introducing me to this:

  • Are exploitative professors breaking the law by recruiting student interns?

    Based on the cases I’ve seen in person, I suspect there’s a growing subterranean practice in the UK of exploitative professors recruiting students to work as unpaid research assistants with the promise of a ‘letter of reference’ in lieu of payment. In one case that particularly bothered me, the first year UG student in question […]

  • Call for Papers: The Accelerated Academy

    November 30th t0 December 3rd 2016, Leiden University From the 1980s onward, there has been an unprecedented growth of institutions and procedures for auditing and evaluating university research. Quantitative indicators are now widely used from the level of individual researchers to that of entire universities, serving to make academic activities more visible, accountable and amenable to university […]

  • The Second Accelerated Academy

    Good news! This week it was learnt that CWTS will play host to the second annual conference ‘The Accelerated Academy: Evaluation, Acceleration and Metrics in Academic Life’. Generously sponsored by the Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences, the event will take place from 30th November to 2nd December 2016 in the beautiful city-centre of […]

  • How will social media transform #highered?

    I asked this question on Twitter, offering a free copy of Social Media for Academics to the person who wrote the most interesting answer in two tweets or less. Here were the responses: @mark_carrigan @Soc_Imagination Homogenize, sanitize, try to monetize & brand evthing in sight, driving free expression further underground. — tp (@3DogCouch) April 16, […]

  • Notes on the Uberisation of Doctoral Education

    Notes for a panel I’m doing in April with Claire Aitchison, Inger Mewburn & Pat Thomson. The idea for the panel was partly provoked by this Discover Society piece. I’m an enthusiast about social media for academics. But for all the examples I see around me of social media enriching and enhancing scholarly practice, it’s hard […]