After the Election: Alternatives in Higher Education policy (20 Mar 2013)

Wednesday March 20, 2-6pm at the Royal Society, London.

Programme

Click here to listen to a full podcast of the event

Panel 1: Chair – Martin McQuillan (Kingston University)

Panel 2: Chair – MM McCabe (Kings College London)

Panel 3: Chair – Tamson Pietsch (Brunel University)

Summation and Roundtable – Thomas Docherty (Warwick University)

Communiqué: the summary position

CDBU is encouraged to rehabilitate the complexity of homo sapiens over the narrow restrictions of homo oeconomicus. In doing so, we need to re-awaken principles of autonomy and creativity; and this will help us achieve a position where we can extend participation, opportunity and capabilities. The present dispensation cannot be sustained by government, given its inherent financial and ideological flaws. CDBU is encouraged to take a position endorsing a yet wider participation, and finding a mode of increasing student numbers against the emerging trends; but this will involve a critique of an ‘efficiency-myth’ which encourages a belief in the increase of quality for less financial input.  It will also involve finding a mode of increasing the range and diversity of the sector. Key to this shift will be a rehabilitation of the primacy of academic judgement, as well as of judgements made about and of the academy itself.  CDBU must attend to that very substantial constituency of part-time students, who are currently marginalised and in danger of being effectively ignored under the present disposition; and this is all the more important when we consider life-long learning and the necessity of re-training for many of today’s students whose work-expectancy is likely to extend over some forty-five years or more. The Fees debate is alive; but it needs to be quickened by our finding a way of addressing the negative political will surrounding the University. Academics need to rediscover ways of engaging with central decision-making bodies in their institutions. Students are co-workers in this demand. By working together, CDBU will find ways of rehabilitating the idea of active responsibility – not just for learning and teaching and research, but also for the public good of the University’s general standing.

>> download full Communiqué from CDBU ‘After the Election’

>> download podcast of ‘After the Election’

>> read Michael Wayne’s comments on the event