Reimagining the university in the global era


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Reimagining the university in the global era

  1. 1. Reimagining the University in the Global Era Michael A Peters, UIUC Presentation for WUN 25 May, 2005
  2. 2. Orientation • … if we create market universities run purely on market principles they may be of their age, but they will not be able to transcend it. • Federico Mayor, UNESCO Director-General, Times Higher Education Supplement, 3 October 1997, p.12.
  3. 3. Outline • Introduction: The Concept of the University • The Modern (‘Historical’) University • The ‘Post-Historical’ University • Two Forms of the Post-Historical University - The global service university - The hollowed-out university • Conclusion
  4. 4. Introduction: The Concept of the University • Bill Readings - The University in Ruins (1996) - the Kantian idea of reason - the Humboldtian idea of culture - the technological idea of excellence • Shifting core commitment: From ‘universal truth’ to ‘quality assurance’ in the discourse of excellence • Neoliberal managerialism as dominant model of knowledge performance
  5. 5. Neoliberal Managerialism • Structural transformation towards the ‘knowledge economy’ based on production of knowledge, investment in human capital and diffusion of ICTs requiring ‘management’ • Neoliberal knowledge management rests on principles of homo economicus (assumptions of individuality, rationality and self-interest) that are radically at odds with distributed knowledge systems
  6. 6. Accountability Regimes • state-mandated agency form that regulates activity or performance according to standards or criteria laid down at state or federal level; often associated with devolution of management (though not necessarily governance) and the development of parallel privatization and/or the quasi market in the delivery of public services. • professional accountability operates through notions of collegiality, peer review, professional autonomy, the control of entry and codes of practice. • consumer accountability through the market, especially where consumer organizations have been strengthened in relation to the development of public services delivered through markets or market-like arrangements. • democratic accountability that has its home in democratic theory and is premised on the demand for both internal and external accountability, that is, typically accountability of a politician to parliament or governing organization and accountability to his/her electorate
  7. 7. Democratic vs Market Accountability There has been an observable tendency in western liberal states to emphasize both agency and consumer forms at the expense of professional and democratic forms, especially where countries are involved in large-scale shifts from traditional Keynesian welfare state regimes to more market-oriented and consumer-driven systems. Indeed, it could be argued that there are natural affinities by way of shared concepts, understandings and operational procedures between these two couplets. One of the main criticisms to have emerged is that the agency/consumer couplet instrumentalizes, individualizes, standardizes, marketizes and externalizes accountability relationships at the expense of democratic values such as participation, self-regulation, collegiality, and collective deliberation that are said to enhance and thicken the relationships involved.
  8. 8. Ideal-type model of internal governance of universities
  9. 9. Neoliberal Technologies of Governance Neoliberal managerialism functions as an emergent and increasingly rationalized and complex neoliberal technology of governance that operates at a number of levels: the individual (‘the self-managing’ technologies), the classroom (‘classroom management techniques’), the academic program (with explicit promotion of the goals of self- management), and the educational institution (self-managing institutions), all within national audit frameworks (see Peters et al, 2000).
  10. 10. New Public Management (NPM) • Performance management including the use of incentives to enhance performance, at both the institutional and the individual level (e.g., short term employment contracts, performance- based remuneration systems, promotion systems, etc.). • Contractualism: An extensive use of ‘contracts’ to specify the nature of performance required and the respective obligations of agents and principals (including, performance and purchase agreements). • The development of an integrated and relatively sophisticated strategic planning and emulation of private sector management styles throughout the public sector. • The removal, wherever possible, of dual or multiple accountability relationships within the public sector, and the avoidance of joint central and local democratic control of public services. • The institutional separation of commercial and non-commercial functions; the separation of advisory, delivery, and regulatory functions; and the related separation of the roles of funder, purchaser, and provider. • The maximum decentralisation of production and management decision-making, especially with respect to the selection and purchase of inputs and the management of human resources. • Financial management based on accrual accounting (sometimes including capital charging), a distinctions between the State’s ownership and purchaser interests, outcomes and outputs, an accrual-based appropriations system, and legislation requiring economic policies that are deemed to be 'fiscally responsible'. • Strong encouragement for, and extensive use of, competitive tendering and contracting out, but few mandatory requirements for market testing or competitive tendering. Boston et al (1996: 4-5)
  11. 11. Performance management Performance management doesn’t sell itself as scientific but rather adopting the paradigm of cultural performance it re-describes itself as an ars poetica of organizational practice, which is evident in texts like - Corporate Renaissance: The Art of Reengineering (Cross et al, 1994) - Jamming: The Art and Discipline of Business Creativity (Kao, 1998) - Cultural Diversity in Organizations (Cox, 1993). This new soft power of management theory and practice recognises performance as having acquired a normative force.
  12. 12. The Modern University: The Kantian Idea of Reason • For Kant it was the idea of reason which provided an organizing principle for the disciplines, with 'philosophy' as its home. • Reason is the founding principle of the Kantian university: it confers a universality upon the institution and, thereby, ushers in modernity. • Reason, as the immanent unifying principle of the Kantian university, displaces the Aristotelian order of disciplines of the medieval university based on the seven liberal arts, (divided into the trivium [grammar, rhetoric and knowledge] and the quadrivium [arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music]), to substitute a quasi-industrial arrangement of the faculties. • The three higher faculties -- theology, law, and medicine, have a content, whereas the lower faculty, philosophy, does not. • It has no content apart from the free exercise of reason and the self-critical and self-legislating exercise of reason, embodied in the philosophy faculty, controls the higher faculties, checking their credentials and credibility, and thereby establishing autonomy for the university as a whole
  13. 13. The Conflict of the Faculties • ‚It was not a bad idea, whoever first conceived and proposed a public means for treating the sum of knowledge (and properly the heads who devote themselves to it), in a quasi industrial manner, with a division of labour where, for so many fields as there may be of knowledge, so many public teachers would be allotted, professors being trustees, forming together a kind of common scientific entity, called a university (or high school) and having autonomy (for only scholars can pass judgement on scholars as such); and, thanks to its faculties (various small societies where university teachers are ranged, in keeping with the variety of the main branches of knowledge), the university would be authorised to admit, on the one hand, student-apprentices from the lower schools aspiring to its level, and to grant, on the other hand -- after prior examination, and on its own authority -- to teachers who are ‘free’ (not drawn from the members themselves) and called ‘Doctors’, a universally recognised rank (conferring upon them a degree) -- in short, creating them.‛
  14. 14. The Humboldtian Idea of Culture • For the German idealists, from Schiller through Schleiermacher to Fichte and Humboldt, the unity of knowledge and culture, exemplified best in the organicity of ancient Greek culture, has been splintered and lost. It can be reintegrated into a unified cultural science through Bildung, the formation and cultivation of moral subjects.
  15. 15. Bildung • ‚Under the rubric of culture, the University is assigned the dual task of research and teaching, respectively the production and inculcation of national self-knowledge. As such, it becomes the institution charged with watching over the spiritual life of the people of the rational state, reconciling ethnic tradition and statist rationality.‛ (Readings 1996)
  16. 16. Culture as Literature • In England, the idea of culture gets its purchase in opposition to science and technology, partly as a result of the threat posed by industrialization and mass civilization. Newman gives us a 'liberal education' as the proper function of the university, which educates its charges to be gentlemen, not through the study of philosophy, but through the study of literature.
  17. 17. Newman • "A literature, when it is formed, is a national and historical fact; it is a matter of the past and present, and can be as little ignored as the present, as little undone as the past". • National language and literature defines the character of "every great people", and Newman speaks of the classics of a national literature by which he means "those authors who have had the foremost place in exemplifying the powers and conducting the development of its language" (p. 240). "Literature: A Lecture in the School of Philosophy and Letters" (1858)
  18. 18. The 'Post-historical' University • The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge (1984) originally published in Paris in 1979, became an instant cause célèbre because Lyotard analyzed the status of knowledge, science and the university in way that many critics believed signaled an epochal break not only with the so-called ‘modern era’ but also with various traditionally ‘modern’ ways of viewing the world.
  19. 19. Two Forms of the Post-historical University • The Global Service University (UK, The Dearing Report) • The Hollowed-Out University (Australia, The West Report)
  20. 20. The Dearing Report, 1997 Globalisation (World Economic Integration) • Main Causes • technological changes in telecomunications, information and transport • the (political) promotion of free trade and the reduction in trade protection • Main Elements • the organisation of production on a global scale • the acquisition of inputs and services from around the world which reduces costs • the formation of cross-border alliances and ventures, enabling companies to combine assets, share their costs and penetrate new markets • intergation of world capital markets • availability of information on international benchmarking of commercial performance • better consumer knowledge and more spending power, hence, more discriminating choices • greater competition from outside the established industrial centres
  21. 21. Dearing cont’ Consequences for the Labour Market • downward pressure on pay, particularly for unskilled labour • upward pressure on the quality of labour input • competition is increasingly based on quality rather than price • people and ideas assume greater significance in economic success because they are less mobile than other investments such as capital, information and technology • unemployment rates of unskilled workers relative to skilled workers have increased • more, probably smaller, companies whose business is knowledge and ways of handling knowledge and information are needed
  22. 22. Dearing cont’ Implications for Higher Education • high quality, relevant higher education provision will be a key factor in attracting and anchoring the operations of global corporations • institutions will need to be at the forefront in offering opportunities for lifelong learning • institutions will need to meet the aspirations of individuals to re-equip themselves for a succession of jobs over a working lifetime • higher education must continue to provide a steady stream of technically skilled people to meet needs of global corporations • higher education will become a global service and tradeable commodity • higher education institutions, organisationally, may need to emulate private sector enterprises in order to flourish in a fast-changing global economy • the new economic order will place a premium on knowledge and institutions, therefore, will need to recognise the knowledge, skills and understanding which individuals can use as a basis to secure further knowledge and skills • the development of a research base to provide new knowledge, understanding and ideas to attract high technology companies
  23. 23. The West Report, 1997 Future Principles • Enhancing access -- a commitment to universal access; • Maximizing study options by fostering a direct relationship between the student and provider and emphasizing student choice; • Promoting outcome-based assessment of quality and accountability to students and the taxpayer; • Maximizing the benefits of research in terms of a national strategy; • Cost-effectiveness of public funding and orientation to the community's needs; • Fair levels of private contribution.
  24. 24. West cont’ • How can they protect their student numbers against local and international competition? • Can they afford to develop individual courses and course materials when better quality and less expensive materials could be developed by cooperative action? • Can they afford to build and maintain expensive support services, such as library services, when better and cheaper services could be provided through collective action? • Can they afford to continue to invest in large-scale 'bricks and mortar' infrastructure … when new technologies offer cheaper and less expensive means of communicating information to large numbers of people? • Should they seek to meet all educational needs of students …or should they focus their energies on areas of greatest expertise, and, therefore, advantage?
  25. 25. West cont’ • ‚The vertically integrated university is a product of brand image, government policy, history and historical economies of scale in support services. If government policy is no longer biased in favour of this form, and technology liberates providers from one location, then we would expect to see new forms arising such as multiple outlet vertically integrate specialist schools and web based universities … Specialist service providers, such as testing companies and courseware developers will arise, as will superstar teachers who are not tied to any one university. Many universities will become marketing and production coordinators or systems integrators. They will no longer all be vertically integrated education version of the 1929 Ford assembly plant in Detroit‛ (p. 12).
  26. 26. Australian national system as flagship • Australian system is the most ‘stripped down’ export-education model of late modernity • 4th largest national income generator – ‘In 2003–04, education services were worth A$5.9 billion to the Australian economy, a 13 per cent increase on 2002–03.’ • Education without Borders: International Trade in Education (2005) ‚As populations grow and national incomes increase, countries in Asia are both investing more in domestic higher education and turning to international education to help meet surging demand for student places. Australia’s institutions are taking increasing numbers of international students and are establishing campuses offshore. International trade negotiations are liberalising education trade and contributing to the emergence of a borderless market for international education.‛ • In 2007 QUT closes School of Humanities because it was losing between $200,000 and $400,000 a year substituting Creative Industries faculty
  27. 27. Reimaging the University • From a single unifying idea to a constellation or field of overlapping and mutually self-reinforcing ideas: THE KANTIAN UNIVERSITY AND THE IDEA OF REASON • Kant's critical philosophy or critical reason as a source of criticism, critique and reflection -- self-criticism, self-reflection and self- goverance. • "the thread which may connect us to the Enlightenment is not faithfulness to doctrinial elements but, rather, the permanent reactivation of an attitude -- that is, of a philosophical ethos that could be described as a permanent critique of our historical era.‚ Michael Foucault, "What is Enlightenment?". In: Michel Foucault: Ethics, The Essential Works, ed. Paul Rabinow, London, Allen Lane & Penguin, 1996, p. 312.
  28. 28. Reimaging the University THE HUMBOLDTIAN UNIVERSITY AND THE IDEA OF CULTURE • From Bildung as self-cultivation and moral self- formation to learning processes (pedagogy) based on an ethical relation of self and other. • From national culture to cultural self-understandings and reproduction which implies: - a recognition of indigenous cultures and traditional knowledges; - an awareness of 'nation' as a socio-historical construction; -an acceptance of the reality of multiculturalism.
  29. 29. Reimaging the University THE UNIVERSITY OF LITERARY CULTURE (Newman-Arnold-Leavis) • National culture as a literary culture revealed in the tradition of a national literature or canon. The shift from a literary to post-literary culture: the modern western university was a print culture shaped by print technologies for the creation, storage and transmission of knowledge. The shift to a new techno-culture is being shaped by digital technologies for the storage and exchange of information.