Critical Education,
Government confirms preference for retrospective price hike on undergraduate study

Andrew McGettigan is the foremost expert writing publicly on the UK student fees regime.

The combination of changes to student loan agreements in 2012 and the recent launch of a public consultation suggest that repayment terms may be changed. The changes will hit graduates earning between £21000 and £30000 the hardest.

Dr McGettigan very reasonably concludes that,

“It’s fundamentally unfair to impose such changes after individuals have signed up for loans. The silence of the universities on this matter is worse than their craven behaviour in 2010. They don’t have any excuse now that the government’s own figures show the likely impact of what is proposed.”

Current students and recent graduates, and their parents would be well advised to read Dr McGettigan’s post and respond to the government’s consultation (link below).

UK university students, graduates, parents, faculty and staff have until 14 October to respond to the government’s consultation on increasing loan repayments.

Read the full article on Critical Education website.

See also:Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (consultation document)
The Guardian,
Theresa May’s hard line on international students will rob us of income and talent

Vincenzo Raimo writing in The Guardian:

“If we’re not careful, the UK, its universities and the economy will miss out on the financial benefits international students bring and, just as important, the benefits of having the best students in the world study in Britain. But we also risk losing the longer-term benefits gained through the relationships established by international students with their UK counterparts, their lecturers and British society more widely.”

However examined, the Home Secretary’s policies and the knock-on reputational affects on student visas look unnecessarily damaging to UK higher education. 

Read the full article on The Guardian website.

The Conversation,
Business schools are not the enemy of the liberal arts

The growth of business schools is not unnoted in discussions about UK higher education. Less noted is that many business schools are far from uncritical training centres for the next generation of corporate automaton. Rather, they are, Mark Gatenby notes, sites of the critical observation of the role of business in society:

Accusations of vocationalism are misinformed: business schools are actually often more about ideas than training practical or technical skills. The ideas discussed in business schools are often not only critical of management practices but in direct opposition to them.

Because business and the logics of markets and capital so dominate contemporary society, it is quite right that business schools’ research and teaching seeks to question the status quo rather than simply describe how it works. In doing so, business school scholars draw on theory and methods developed in other disciplines, and their analysis has much to offer in return. The university mission would be well served by embracing the critical work in business schools, as Dr Gatenby argues:

Business schools are now a major part of the higher education landscape and this is something the traditionalists need to accept. Instead of holding onto a myth of intellectual purity, or fighting over cultural supremacy, they should help to make business schools an integral part of the academic community.

Read the full article on The Conversation website.

The Guardian,
Campus cranes and vanity projects with an American flavour

Professor Peter Scott:

“You don’t need to be a killjoy to wonder whether we are rushing too fast down the American road. There, colleges (with the exception of some elite universities) have responded to criticisms about out-of-control fees by investing heavily in student pleasure and leisure, often at the expense of teaching and learning – especially lecturers in secure jobs.”

Indeed, as students become consumers, the learning becomes secondary.

Read the full article on The Guardian website.