Higher Education Policy

, Volume 30, Issue 1, pp 105–122

The Engaged Student Ideal in UK Higher Education Policy

Original Article

Abstract

The UK Government’s Green Paper (BIS in Fulfilling our potential: teaching excellence, social mobility and student choice. BIS, London, 2015), White Paper (BIS in Success as a knowledge economy: teaching excellence, social mobility and student choice. BIS, London, 2016a) and Higher Education and Research Bill (http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/cbill/2016-2017/0004/17004.pdf, 2016) appear to be premised on a normative student ideal in UK higher education policy. This ideal student presupposes a transactional model of student engagement, which relies on the accumulation of knowledge capital by a systemic subject. The current government vision forms part of a long-term shift away from the discourse of social democracy since the policies of the 1960s. This shift towards neoliberal political economy is reflected in the legislation to establish the Office for Students, United Kingdom Research and Innovation and the Teaching Excellence Framework (BIS 2015, 2016a; BIS in Teaching excellence framework: technical consultation for year two. BIS, London, 2016b). Rather than adding to the transactional view of student engagement based on the neoliberal student ideal, this article explores the democratic idea of a higher education multitude in which there might be a more nuanced pedagogic and socio-technical understanding of student engagement for further policy developments.

Keywords

student engagement policy higher education multitude teaching excellence framework pedagogy socio-technical approach 

References

  1. Archer, M. (2012) The Reflexive Imperative in Late Modernity, New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Aronovitch, H. (2012) ‘Interpreting Weber’s Ideal-Types’, Philosophy of the Social Sciences 42(3): 356–369.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Badiou, A. (2009) Logics of Worlds: Being and Event, 2. Translated by A. Toscano, London: Continuum.Google Scholar
  4. Ball, S.J. (2012) Global Education Inc.: New Policy Networks and the Neo-liberal Imaginary, London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  5. Ball, S.J. (2015) ‘Accounting for a sociological life: influences and experiences on the road from welfarism to neo-liberalism’, British Journal of Sociology of Education 36(6): 817–831.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Barnett, R. (1999) ‘The coming of the global village: a tale of two inquiries’, Oxford Review of Education 25(3): 293–306.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Barnett, R. (2004) ‘Learning for an unknown future’, Higher Education Research and Development 23(3): 247–260.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Beck, U. (2000) The Brave New World of Work, Translated by P. Camiller, Cambridge: Polity Press.Google Scholar
  9. BIS (Department for Business Innovation and Skills) (2009) Higher Ambitions: The Future of Universities in a Knowledge Economy, London: BIS.Google Scholar
  10. BIS (Department for Business Innovation and Skills) (2011) Higher Education: Students at the Heart of the System, London: BIS.Google Scholar
  11. BIS (Department for Business Innovation and Skills) (2015) Fulfilling our Potential: Teaching Excellence, Social Mobility and Student Choice, London: BIS, https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/474227/BIS-15-623-fulfilling-our-potential-teaching-excellence-social-mobility-and-student-choice.pdf, accessed December 2015.
  12. BIS (Department for Business Innovation and Skills) (2016a) Success as a Knowledge Economy: Teaching Excellence, Social Mobility and Student Choice, London: BIS, https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/higher-education-success-as-a-knowledge-economy-white-paper, accessed July 2016.
  13. BIS (Department for Business Innovation and Skills) (2016b) Teaching Excellence Framework: Technical Consultation for Year Two, London: BIS, https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/523340/bis-16-262-teaching-excellence-framework-techcon.pdf, accessed July 2016.
  14. Britton, J., Dearden, L., Shephard, N. and Vignoles, A. (2016) How English Domiciled Graduate Earnings Vary with Gender, Institution Attended, Subject and Socio-Economic Background, London: Institute for Fiscal Studies, http://www.ifs.org.uk/uploads/publications/wps/wp201606.pdf, accessed July 2016.
  15. Brock, T. and Carrigan, M. (2014) ‘Realism and contingency: a relational realist analysis of the UK student protests’, Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 45(3): 377–396.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Brown, R. and Carrasso, H. (2013) Everything for sale? The marketisation of UK higher education, Abingdon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  17. Browne Review (2010) Securing a Sustainable Future For Higher Education: An Independent Review of Higher Education Funding and Student Finance, London: BIS, https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-browne-report-higher-education-funding-and-student-finance, accessed March 2016.
  18. Butler, J. (1997) The Psychic Life of Power: Theories in subjection, Stanford: Stanford University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Bye, J. (2015) ‘Foucault and the use of critique: breaching the self-evidence of educational practices’, International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education 28(4): 394–414.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Dardot, P. and Laval, C. (2013) The New Way of the World: On Neo-Liberal Society, Translated by G. Elliott, London: Verso.Google Scholar
  21. Deleuze, G. (2006) Foucault, Translated by S. Hand, London: Continuum.Google Scholar
  22. Dearing Report (1997) Higher Education in the Learning Society, London: HMSO http://www.educationengland.org.uk/documents/dearing1997/dearing1997.html, accessed February 2016.
  23. (DfE) (Department for Education) (2016) Teaching Excellence Framework: Year Two Specification, London: DfE. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/556355/TEF_Year_2_specification.pdf, accessed September 2016.
  24. Evans, C. and Waring, M. (2015) ‘The Personal Learning Styles Implementation Framework’ in M. Waring and C. Evans (eds) (2015) Understanding Pedagogy: Developing a Critical Approach to Teaching and Learning, Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 187–214.Google Scholar
  25. Evans, C., Muijs, D. and Tomlinson, M. (2015) Engaged student learning: High impact strategies to enhance student achievement, York: Higher Education Academy.Google Scholar
  26. Fair, N.S.R., Harris, L.J. and Davis, H. (2016) Collaborative Social Learning: Socio-Technical Module Design in UK Higher EducationA Case Study, Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies; 4–6 July, Barcelona. Valencia: IATED, available on https://library.iated.org/view/FAIR2016COL.
  27. Flew, T. (2014) ‘Six theories of neoliberalism’, Thesis Eleven 122(1): 49–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Foucault, M. (2000) Power: Essential Works of Michel Foucault 19541984. Vol. 3, London: Penguin.Google Scholar
  29. Foucault, M. (2010) The Birth of Bio-Politics: Lectures at the Collège de France, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  30. Furedi, F. (2011) ‘Introduction to the marketization of higher education and the student as consumer’, in M. Molesworth, R. Scullion, and E. Nixon (eds.) The Marketisation of Higher Education and the Student as Consumer, Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 1–8.Google Scholar
  31. Gibbons, M., Limoges, C., Nowotny, H., Schwartzman, S., Scott, P. and Trow, M. (1994) The New Production of Knowledge: The Dynamics of Science and Research in Contemporary Societies, London: Sage.Google Scholar
  32. Hardt, M. and Negri, A. (2006) Multitude: war and democracy in the age of empire, London: Penguin.Google Scholar
  33. Haywood, H., Jenkins, R. and Molesworth, M. (2011) ‘A degree will make all your dreams come true: Higher education as the management of consumer desires’, in M. Molesworth, R. Scullion, and E. Nixon, E. (eds.) The Marketisation of Higher Education and the Student as Consumer, Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 183–195.Google Scholar
  34. Higher Education Act (2004) http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2004/8/contents, accessed February 2016.
  35. Higher Education and Research Bill (2016) http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/cbill/2016-2017/0004/17004.pdf, accessed July 2016.
  36. Hockings, C. (2010) Inclusive Learning and Teaching in Higher Education: A Synthesis of Research, York: Higher Education Academy.Google Scholar
  37. Jarratt Report (1985) Report of the Steering Committee for Efficiency Studies in Higher Education, London: Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals.Google Scholar
  38. John, P. and Fanghanel, J., (eds). (2016) Dimensions of Marketisation in Higher Education, Abingdon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  39. Kahn, P. (2014) ‘Theorising student engagement in higher education’, British Educational Research Journal 40(6): 1005–1018.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Latour, B. (2005) Reassembling the SocialAn Introduction to Actor-Network-Theory, Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  41. Marginson, S. (2013) ‘The impossibility of capitalist markets in higher education’, Journal of Education Policy 28(3): 353–370.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. McGettigan, A. (2013) The Great University Gamble: Money, markets and the future of higher education, London, Pluto Press.Google Scholar
  43. Molesworth, M., Scullion, E. and Nixon, R. (2011) The Marketisation of Higher Education: The Student as Consumer. Abingdon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  44. Naidoo, R. (2008a) The Competitive State and the Mobilised Market: Higher Education Policy in the United Kingdom (1980–2007). Critique Internationale. Paris: Presses de Sciences Po, pp. 47–65.Google Scholar
  45. Naidoo, R. (2008b) Entrenching international inequality: the impact of the global commodification of knowledge of higher education on developing countries, Structure and Agency in the Neoliberal University, 14th July, pp. 84–100.Google Scholar
  46. Negri, A. (1999) The Savage Anomaly: The Power of Spinoza’s Metaphysics and Politics, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  47. Nietzsche, F. (1997) Untimely Meditations, Translated by R. Hollingdale, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  48. Olssen, M. (2016) ‘Neoliberal competition in higher education today: research, accountability and impact’, British Journal of Sociology of Education 37(1): 129–148.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Olssen, M. and Peters, M. (2005) ‘Neoliberalism, higher education and the knowledge economy: from the free market to knowledge capitalism’, Journal of Education Policy 20(3): 313–345.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Plato (1996) Parmenides, Translated by M. Gill P. Ryan, Cambridge: Hackett.Google Scholar
  51. Power, M. (1999) The Audit Society: Rituals of Verification, Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Rajagopal, K., Joosten-ten Brinke, D., Van Bruggen, J. and Sloep, P. (2011) ‘Understanding personal learning networks: Their structure, content and the networking skills needed to optimally use them’ First Monday 17(1). doi:10.5210/fm.v17i1.3559.
  53. Robbins Report (1963) Higher Education, London: HMSO.Google Scholar
  54. Rosenberg, M. (2016) ‘The conceptual articulation of reality of life: Max Weber’s theoretical constitution of sociological ideal types’, Journal of Classical Sociology 16(1): 84–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Trowler, V. (2010) Student Engagement Literature Review, York: Higher Education Academy.Google Scholar
  56. Vermunt. J.D. (1996) ‘Metacognitive, cognitive and affective aspects of learning styles and strategies: a phenomenographic analysis’, Higher Education 31(1): 25–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Waring, M. and Evans, C. (2015) Understanding Pedagogy: Developing a Critical Approach to Teaching and Learning, Abingdon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  58. Weber, M. (1949) The Methodology of the Social Sciences, Translated by E. Shils and H. Finch, Glencoe: Free Press.Google Scholar
  59. Williams, J. (2016) ‘Contractualising the student experience through university charters’, in P. John and J. Fanghanel (eds.) Dimensions of Marketisation in Higher Education, Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 69–79.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© International Association of Universities 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of SouthamptonSouthamptonUK

Personalised recommendations