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Words by Christopher Cunningham. Note from the author: Ideas discussed in this blog post represent a digest from my forthcoming book, which has the working title: The Neoliberal Meritocracy of Higher Education in England: Questioning a University’s Purpose through a Study of Widening Participation.    Abstract In analysing the relationship between social mobility and widening...
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Although specific to Oxford, this blog highlights the sort of changes that are being made in university governance across the UK that reduce the role of academics. Readers aware of other examples are warmly invited to contact us and contribute to the CDBU blog. According to Statute III of the University of Oxford, Convocation consists...
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The Council for the Defence of British Universities (CDBU) was established at Oxford in 2012 by Sir Keith Thomas. He worked tirelessly to recruit famous names from culture and science, law and the media, as well as academe, and set up an organisational infrastructure in double quick time. Government was instituting radical plans for HE...
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We are pleased to publish the results of one of our funded research projects.  ‘Satisfied Customers?: Interrogating “the student experience” in the neoliberal university’, by Professor Leo McCann (University of York) explores UK students’ perspectives on the marketized university.  The research found that UK university students are largely enthusiastic about the content and quality of their degrees,...
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PRESS RELEASE: 08.02.24 In April 2022, The Council for the Defence of British Universities invited applications to undertake research into any aspect of higher education in the UK, including governance, policy, curricula developments, and staff and student welfare and wellbeing. Funding was awarded to three projects. We are pleased to announce that we will publish...
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Words by David Feldman.  The war in Gaza reverberates globally.  One consequence is renewed controversy over when criticism of Israel and support for Palestinian rights becomes antisemitic. This debate has been crystallized by two definitions of antisemitism: the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance Working Definition of Antisemitism and the Jerusalem Declaration on Antisemitism. Both definitions agree...
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We are pleased to publish the results of one of our funded research projects. “University Governance: Views from the Inside”, by Professor Steven Jones (PI) and Dr Diane Harris, explores the inner workings of university governance through a series of interviews with current and former members of university governing bodies in England from 41 different...
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Words by Susan Bruce with Kelli Rudolph.  Alastair Campbell and Rory Stewart, generally so illuminating on the multiple topics they discuss in their podcast The Rest is Politics, were less informative than they usually are in their 13 December discussion of the US House Education and Workforce committee hearing of 5/12/2023 wherein the Presidents of...
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The Office for Students (OfS) is currently caught up in the crossfire of a government-inspired ‘culture-war’ on universities. This has included passage of the Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Act in May 2023 to address an alleged ‘no platforming’ of right-wing and gender-critical speakers.  The OfS has now published its proposals for an independent complaints...
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