Skip to content

Updates in Group Globalization Higher Education

University lecturers and students reacted with dismay on Sunday after a group of leading British academics took a step towards the establishment of an elite US-style university system in the UK by launching a new private college offering £18,000-a-year courses.

This contribution explores the transformation of higher education policy from the mere co-ordination of educational curricula by national governments to the embodiment
of the Lisbon Agenda’s ‘governance architecture’, together with its impact on national policies, institutions and actors. It does so by charting change in both policy outputs and policy outcomes in four different European countries – England, the Netherlands, Germany and Italy – and by relating these changes to the ideational and organizational aspects of the Lisbon Strategy. We suggest that Lisbon acted as a ‘script’ to be followed by national governments and other policy actors, enabling them to gradually adapt to Lisbon-induced ideational and
organizational pressures, and to shape national organizational and communicative discourses that can overcome entrenched interests and transform the prevailing perception of higher education so deeply rooted in national cultural and policy traditions.

globalization education

symploke – To Save Academe


In 1996, a relatively unknown associate professor of comparative literature at the Université de Montréal caused a stir by publishing a book that showed how colleges and universities are run more like businesses or corporations than educational institutions. Widely read and cited, Bill Readings’ The University in Ruins (1996) was an indictment of corporate practices in academia. It announced that business values were supplanting academic values in the administration of universities—and laid the groundwork for a chorus of increasingly dystopian voices decrying the political and economic future of higher education. Readings’ book was highly influential and convinced many scholars whose primary area of research was not higher education to start thinking and writing about the corporate conditions of academe. Over the course a dozen years following Readings’ publication, many other fine accounts of the
corporate logic of the contemporary university were published, including CUNY sociologist Stanley Aronowitz’s The Knowledge Factory: Dismantling the Corporate University and Creating True Higher Learning (2001), former Harvard President Derek Bok’s Universities in the Marketplace: The Commercialization of Higher Education (2003), freelance journalist and New America Foundation fellow Jennifer Washburn’s University, Inc.: The Corporate Corruption of Higher Education (2005), and more recently, Ohio State University English professor Frank Donoghue’s The Last Professors: The Corporate University and the Fate of the Humanities (2008). Derek Bok reports how he received “one proposition after
another to exchange some piece or product of Harvard for money—often, quite substantial sums of money” (2009, 46). Donoghue boldly

symploke – The Open Access Debate


On October 18–20, 2009, librarians and publishers fought another round in the ongoing open access (OA) debate, which the Chronicle continues to cover. The opening shot—but it is already a reply—was fired by SPARC, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, when it declared October 19–23, 2009 to be “Open Access Week.” 1 Open Access is the name of the idea that the public and universities should not pay publishers for something—usually scholarly journals, though now books are on the radar as well—they have already
paid to produce. In principle, universities pay professors to write scholarly books and articles, and it pays other professors to review and edit them, but publishers then collect subscriptions to produce these journals and sell them back to the universities. Instead of buying the work back again, goes the  argument, journals should be free and distributed online. Proponents, mainly authors and universities, think journals might not survive if libraries have to pay for them twice, once via the university to produce them, the second time to
subscribe. This is particularly the case with science journals, which often cost many times more than do humanities journals. While the costs of humanities and social science journals have been increasingly a concern for research libraries, price increases in the sciences have led to a crisis in library subscriptions. This has been a topic of concern now for over two decades and has led to a boycott of science publisher Elsevier in 2003, among others (Albanese 2004). Now that electronic publishing has gained widespread acceptance, both in
the academy and in society at large, the time seems at hand for the end of publisher monopolies.

symploke – Uneasy Work


Academics don’t work very much. At least that’s a common impression. After all, they only teach a few hours a week, and they have summers off. 1 The claim that they might spend a lot of time preparing doesn’t stave off the general impression—reading books really doesn’t seem like work. They not only have slim obligations but are sanctimonious about it, added to which their anemic hours are protected by the impregnable shield of tenure. They have an easy ride. To avoid reinforcing this image, once in the early 1990s while I was working at
East Carolina University, the provost circulated a memo that we should avoid sunbathing or gardening in our yards during weekdays because it gave a bad impression to the people of Greenville, North Carolina. The UNC system was suffering from budget cuts, so the provost was worried about public relations; he was careful to acknowledge our academic freedom, etc., but didn’t want to fuel the idea that we led the life of Riley. Yet, most of the academics I know are always working. They run from the keyboard to a meeting to coffee to teaching to office hours to home, where the work continues, reading for an article or a manuscript for a press, back at the keyboard finishing an article or chapter, or culling through the endless stream of email, or wincingly grading papers. Rather than aristocrats in smoking jackets leafing through leather-bound tomes, they are sleep-deprived and over-caffeinated, working on deadline to finish the book manuscript for tenure, the talk they have to give in three days but haven’t started, the papers they have had for two weeks so really need to give back tomorrow, the job search committee they’re on that received two hundred applications, and the legal-case-thick tenure file they have to review. Work slides from office to home to coffee house to airport to
car, thanks to technological conveniences like the Powerbook, Notepad, Kindle, and

Fostering Community Life and Human Civility in Academic Departments Through Covenant Pr…


Creating desirable academic departments for individuals’ well-being and quality scholarship is an important effort as well as a novel idea. The focus of this reflective article is twofold: (a) We present a social capital theory of social justice covenants as a product and process of community building, and (b) we share the multiple lived experiences of three scholars within the context of our department’s covenant ideology and practice. We explore how faculty can promote community and civility by not only developing but also enacting an
internally generated covenant while operating within a larger institutional context that produces tension. As related to our purposes, we examined the relevant literature on social capital, capacity building, workplace environments, and organizational covenants to frame our discussion of community-driven action in education. We include an extended application of a covenant that guides our departmental faculty’s social outlook, interpersonal behavior, scholarly work, and communal activism. Although our focus is on change-oriented, grassroots
activity within higher education, the public schooling context is considered.

Methodological Higher-Level Interdisciplinarity by Scheme-Interpretationism: Against Me…


It is well known that most of the topical problems of our times cannot be addressed in clean disciplinary separations or total disciplinary make-up, but they are only successfully to be addressed in interdisciplinary or transdisciplinary or even superdisciplinary manner. For instance, ecological problems are not just natural science questions, but of course they are not
only cultural or social humanities problem areas either. In the overriding and comprehensive problems of our society and age we encounter a complex of not only internal interaction and interconnection if not mashing of the prospective disciplinary areas. We need more abstract plus disciplinary methods, disciplines and technologies, so to speak generalized operational techniques in order to get a more formal or abstract or methodological perspective we will discuss below.

Measuring the adoption of innovation. A typology of EU countries based on the Innovatio…


Based on the Community Innovation Survey, this paper suggests new indicators of innovation adoption. The magnitude of innovation adoption is assessed for 22 EU countries and different industries. The most striking feature is the correlation between the innovation activities and the adoption rate. Countries with strong R&D and human resources and high innovation output exhibit the highest adoption rates. This supports the idea that innovation adoption requires an absorption capability. In addition, the specificities of each country regarding the prevailing types of innovation and adoption (product or process, cooperation-based adoption or internal adoption) allow us to draw up a typology of the EU countries, for which a specific geographical pattern is observed.

Critical thinking and disciplinary thinking: a continuing debate – HERDSA

critical literacy

I report a study that investigated ideas about critical thinking across three disciplines: Philosophy, History and Literary Studies. The findings point to a diversity of understandings and practices, ones that suggest the limitations of a more generic approach. I argue that a more useful conception of critical thinking is as a form of ‘metacritique’ – where the essential quality to be encouraged in students is a flexibility of thought and the ability to negotiate a range of different critical modes.

There is no ‘universal’ knowledge, intercultural collaboration is indispensable – Socia…


hin some significant circles, where hegemonic representations of the idea of ‘science’ are produced, certain orientations of scientific research are carried out, and science and higher education policies are made and applied, references to the alleged existence of two kinds of knowledge, one of which would have ‘universal’ validity, and ‘the other’ (in fact the several
others) would not, are frequent and do have crucial effects over our academic work. Although some outstanding authors within the very Western tradition have criticized from varied perspectives such universalist ambitions/assumptions, and although many colleagues have reached convergent conclusions from diverse kinds of practices and experiences, such hegemonic representations of the idea of science are still current. The acknowledgment of this situation calls for a deep debate. This article responds to such a purpose by attempting to integrate into the debate a reflection on the shortcomings of hegemonic academic knowledge to understand social processes profoundly marked by cultural differences, historical conflicts and inequalities, as well as significant perspectives formulated by some outstanding intellectuals who self-identify as indigenous, and the experiences of some indigenous intercultural universities from several Latin American countries.

You may receive regular messages if you are a member of the group Globalization Higher Education at On twitter search the hashtag #globalhighered or consult news items on the centre facebook page

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: