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Universities, neo-liberalisation & (in)equality – Goldsmiths (28 April)

Unfortunately I will no longer be talking at this event.  With the new tax year, Goldsmiths has changed the way it deals with Visiting Speakers and I am no longer prepared to appear. Apologies for any inconvenience

Critical Education

Goldsmiths’s Centre for the Study of Global Media and Democracy is hosting a day-long event on Friday 28 April on “Universities, neo-liberalisation and (in)equality”.

I’ll be giving the keynote at 10am and other speakers include Des Freedman, David Graeber, Jo Littler and Vik Loveday.

Time: 10am-6pm

Venue: LG01, Professor Stuart Hall Building, Goldsmiths, London. MAP

The event is free but booking is required.

More details here.

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Talk: The New HE Settlement – Keele (27 April)

Critical Education

Keele have kindly rearranged my October talk for the end of April.

Title: The New HE Settlement: standards, excellence, value-add and finance

Date: Thursday 27 April

Time: 1-2pm (with refreshments from 12.30)

Venue: The Salvin Room, Keele Hall, Keele University.

The talk is free and a place can be booked here.

Outline

This summer’s White Paper for Higher Education, Success as a Knowledge Economy (backed up where needed by the Higher Education and Research Bill now passing through parliament) represents a new settlement for English universities and colleges; a settlement to replace that of 1992/93 when the binary divide was dissolved and the polytechnics were brought into the university funding fold.

This new settlement might be best characterised as a response to a breakdown in trust between the government (as funder) and universities as providers of undergraduate education.

The expansion of undergraduate places over the last two to three decades…

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Talk: Whatever happened to the Polytechnics? (Newcastle, 6 April)

Next Thursday in Newcastle

Critical Education

Newcastle College has organised a public series of talks in collaboration with the Lit & Phil. I’ll be talking on Thursday 6th April.

“Whatever happended to the Polytechnics?”

The talk will consider the place of polytechnics in policy debates and political imagination as we face a new settlement for English HE and new attempts at reforming technical education. It will focus on the need for civic education institutions geared to lifelong and modular learning and argue that the dominance of the full-time degree and ‘boarding school’ provision is the main problem in English HE – one not fixed by any new push on accelerated degrees.

Time: 6-7pm

Venue: Lit & Phil

There is no fee but booking is required.

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The HE Bill & the Future of Higher Education (Cambridge, 10 March)

Now with filmed video

Critical Education

cambridge-talkA video of this event is now available.

Venue: Room 5, Lecture Block, Sidgwick site, University of Cambridge
Map

NB! Time: 12.30 to 2pm.  Not 12 as in original poster.

Point of information: I have hourly paid contracts with Central Saint Martins & CityLit to run Fine Art Maths Centre at the former and to teach the history and philosophy of maths at the latter. I write about English HE as a freelancer.

View original post

Talk: The New HE Settlement – Keele (27 April)

Keele have kindly rearranged my October talk for the end of April.

Title: The New HE Settlement: standards, excellence, value-add and finance

Date: Thursday 27 April

Time: 1-2pm (with refreshments from 12.30)

Venue: The Salvin Room, Keele Hall, Keele University.

The talk is free and a place can be booked here.

Outline

This summer’s White Paper for Higher Education, Success as a Knowledge Economy (backed up where needed by the Higher Education and Research Bill now passing through parliament) represents a new settlement for English universities and colleges; a settlement to replace that of 1992/93 when the binary divide was dissolved and the polytechnics were brought into the university funding fold.

This new settlement might be best characterised as a response to a breakdown in trust between the government (as funder) and universities as providers of undergraduate education.

The expansion of undergraduate places over the last two to three decades has not been accompanied by the predicted increase in British productivity. Government, most pertinently Treasury, faith in the generic value of a degree in human capital terms has been undermined in the last ten years. The White Paper therefore heralds an intervention in settled notions of institutional autonomy and academic freedom. In particular, Hefce, its planned replacement the Office for Students and the government have reinterpreted their powers and remit to extend to standards, not just ‘quality’.

The four-pronged justification for this reorientation would be characterised by degree inflation, student dissatisfaction, graduates in non-graduate jobs and employer complaints about graduate abilities. Lurking in the background a further dimension has become clearer – the government as investor has not seen the expected return: an increase in graduate salaries. The latest data from the new Longitudinal Education Outcomes project (LEO) indicates that one quarter of those in work ten years after graduating are earning £20,000 pa or less.

These results, opinions and findings have led to new government-commissioned research into the ‘value add’ of particular degrees and institutions, which will dovetail with the development of new metrics and measures for the later phases of the teaching excellence framework, including tests for generic learning gain.

This talk will outline these developments and the contours of the next decade of HE policy as it is motivated by the government’s economic and financial considerations and what the resulting new ‘financialised’ framework will mean for the sector.

 

Universities, neo-liberalisation & (in)equality – Goldsmiths (28 April)

Goldsmiths’s Centre for the Study of Global Media and Democracy is hosting a day-long event on Friday 28 April on “Universities, neo-liberalisation and (in)equality”.

I’ll be giving the keynote at 10am and other speakers include Des Freedman, David Graeber, Jo Littler and Vik Loveday.

Time: 10am-6pm

Venue: LG01, Professor Stuart Hall Building, Goldsmiths, London. MAP

The event is free but booking is required.

More details here.

 

 

Yesterday’s loan announcements

As part of his Budget announcements, the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, provided more detail on maintenance loans for part-time students and doctoral study.

Part-time maintenance loans for degrees will arrive in 2018/19 with an age cap (you must be under 60), while the government has delayed loans for Level 4 and 5 qualifications, such as HNCs and HNDs, until the following year. It is also planning to review what support will be made available for part-time distance learning. The OBR states that the government intends to offer lower levels of maintenance support to those students, but has yet to finalise a figure.

The Open University has expressed its ‘alarm and concern’ over the announcement and is seeking urgent clarification on this change of heart regarding distance learners.

“The decision will affect one third of all part-time learners and seems to undermine the whole premise of the Government’s policy of arresting the decline in part-time study to help boost growth and close the productivity gap.”

From 2018/19, Doctoral loans will offer students without full funding a one-off loan of £25,000 towards fees and the costs of study. Doctoral loans will be wrapped up with taught postgraduate loans (£10,000) to create a single balance. The repayment threshold will be £21,000 and the repayment rate 6%, meaning that those with undergraduate and postgraduate loans will see 15% taken from gross earnings over £21,000. (With income tax at 20% at the lowest band and Class 1 NI at 12% that indicates a marginal take of 47% over the repayment threshold. The government appears to have very little (no?) impact modelling here to assess affordability and the knock- on effects for e.g. participation in employer pension schemes).

In light of the recent discussion of undergraduate maintenance support, the impact analysis for doctoral loans indicates that

The cost of living during doctoral study is strongly dependent on the location of the university. Forexample, Oxford and London are at the top end of living cost, at around £14,000 per year. The cost of living in cities such as York, Sheffield or Aberystwyth is lower, at around £11,000 per year.