About this paper

Appears in:
Page: 1911 (abstract only)
Publication year: 2013
ISBN: 978-84-616-3847-5
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 6th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2013
Location: Seville, Spain

PROCESSES OF DIFFERENTIATION AND CONVERGENCE IN THE MARKETIZED ENGLISH HIGHER EDUCATION

F. Dakka

University of Bristol (UNITED KINGDOM)
Over the past twenty years the field of Higher Education (HE) has become a crucial site of multidisciplinary investigation. Its perceived strategic function as linchpin of and catalyst to the fullest development of a knowledge-based economy has propelled a vivid academic debate – encouraged and summoned by national political establishments - over how to better harness its potential in order to gain competitive advantages and best compete in the global economy arena. Consequently, HEIs (Higher Education Institutions) in mature capitalistic economies have undergone radical internal organizational changes coupled with changing patterns of national supply and stratification.
This paper will contextualize the trajectory of Higher Education (HE) restructuring in England as it interfaces between two connected –and yet analytically distinct- fields of interaction: the national and the global political economy.
Globalization, massification and marketization as macro processes exert a profound impact –albeit often indirect and mediated- on the internal reorganization of the sector. Within the latter, English HE has been and is currently being structurally and ideologically reformed along strong neoliberal, market-oriented lines: the impact of marketization/privatization of the English HE provision will be critically assessed with reference to recent policy documents (Browne Review 2010, HE White Paper 2011) both in terms of its financial/structural underpinnings and, most importantly, with regards to its consequences as far as the future of the university as a public (?) institution and as a social good is concerned.
While the literature on marketization (Kogan 1997, Shavit et al. 2007, Brown 2011) generally points to an increasing diversification/stratification in the subject/institutional offer as a result of the progressive marketization of the system, counter de-differentiating tendencies are equally detected sub specie “mission creep” and horizontal vocational drifts ( Bleiklie 2004; Teichler 2004; Neave 2005; Van Vught 2008). Whether interpreted as signs of “cultural resistance” to or byproducts of the market, academic and vocational drifts produce homogenizing tendencies paradoxically at odds with the core principles of the market (diversification, freedom of choice).
Will the marketized British higher education be an inclusive, internally differentiated, efficient sector that puts the student-consumer “at the heart of the system” or will it simply reproduce the existing socio-economic stratification limiting student choice and producing unintended side effects such as internal convergence and de-differentiation?
Looking concomitantly at structural political/economic constraints and at the semiotic turn inherently connected with the shift to the entrepreneurial university (Jessop 2008) this study will shed light on the role of market forces in conjunction with the powerful instrument of (HE) marketing (Maringe & Gibbs 2009). Increasing tendencies to homogenization across the sector will be anticipated as likely result of both academic/vocational drifts and of the exacerbated competition brought about by the very logic of the market.
@InProceedings{DAKKA2013PRO,
author = {Dakka, F.},
title = {PROCESSES OF DIFFERENTIATION AND CONVERGENCE IN THE MARKETIZED ENGLISH HIGHER EDUCATION},
series = {6th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2013 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-616-3847-5},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {18-20 November, 2013},
year = {2013},
pages = {1911}}
TY - CONF
AU - F. Dakka
TI - PROCESSES OF DIFFERENTIATION AND CONVERGENCE IN THE MARKETIZED ENGLISH HIGHER EDUCATION
SN - 978-84-616-3847-5/2340-1095
PY - 2013
Y1 - 18-20 November, 2013
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 6th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2013 Proceedings
SP - 1911
EP - 1911
ER -
F. Dakka (2013) PROCESSES OF DIFFERENTIATION AND CONVERGENCE IN THE MARKETIZED ENGLISH HIGHER EDUCATION, ICERI2013 Proceedings, p. 1911.
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