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Jane Austen and the
Belly of the Beast Part 2:
Language and Power
Commodification, Technology and the Open Agenda
in Highe...
• Ideology, technology, power, & economics:
Universities and the crisis in neoliberalism
• Tensions between the concepts a...
Contentions
• Knowledge as economic product
• Mass production/education – the factory
model
• Technological Solutionism an...
Pressure points
Political pressures on universities to abandon their
culture:
• Austerity cuts
• Competition (funding, ran...
Language: A Monoculture?
• Technology, education, open education
• Narrow, controlled, self-censoring
• Social media: an a...
The Open Agenda
• Open education: rapid, diverse and massive
• Technology, venture capital, markets, competition
• Opportu...
The Open Agenda and the Developing World:
• Colonisation via knowledge economy:
transporting Western values, language and
...
Language
Neo-liberal language now used by public sector:
• Business model, efficiency, market, customers,
brand, ranking, ...
Language: fear & greed
• “Digital Natives & Immigrants”
• “Higher education in 50 years will be provided by no
more than 1...
Power
“An avalanche is coming”
Summing Up: The Future
• To develop alternatives we should know from where
we are starting.
• There is a role for public i...
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Jane Austen and the Belly of the Beast Part 2: Language and Power (2015)

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Commodification, Technology and the Open Agenda in Higher Education.

How Neoliberalism destroys the great university system and common good.
Presentation at the 4th Summit of the International Society for Information Studies (IS4IS)

Published in: Education
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Jane Austen and the Belly of the Beast Part 2: Language and Power (2015)

  1. 1. Jane Austen and the Belly of the Beast Part 2: Language and Power Commodification, Technology and the Open Agenda in Higher Education John Casey, City of Glasgow College Wolfgang Greller, Vienna University of Education Presentation for ISIS Summit Vienna 2015: THE INFORMATION SOCIETY AT THE CROSSROADS
  2. 2. • Ideology, technology, power, & economics: Universities and the crisis in neoliberalism • Tensions between the concepts and cultural forms of the university and economics • Culture and money in Jane Austen – Higher Education as a comedy of manners? • ‘Belly of the Beast’ – to be trapped in a bad place • 2nd in a series of ‘working sketches’ Introduction
  3. 3. Contentions • Knowledge as economic product • Mass production/education – the factory model • Technological Solutionism and the illusion of mass-produced personalisation • (Economic) viability against search for wisdom • Transferring cost to the people, corporate business models, reduced labour costs
  4. 4. Pressure points Political pressures on universities to abandon their culture: • Austerity cuts • Competition (funding, ranking, privatisation, internet) • Commodification of individual (teachers/learners) • Widening access, participation goals • More bureaucracy as control mechanism • = More for less!
  5. 5. Language: A Monoculture? • Technology, education, open education • Narrow, controlled, self-censoring • Social media: an amplifier and multiplier • Education and Technology • An endless TED talk? • Language of Fear – of being left behind • Technological Solutionism • Youthful deliriums…
  6. 6. The Open Agenda • Open education: rapid, diverse and massive • Technology, venture capital, markets, competition • Opportunities and contradictions • Outsourcing learning to cut even more costs • Shift from service provider to certification body • ‘Open’ as a contested space… • Brand equity projection* • New markets… - data as new currency
  7. 7. The Open Agenda and the Developing World: • Colonisation via knowledge economy: transporting Western values, language and branding – using ‘openwash’ • Cf. television expansion in the 1990s: cheapest tv productions as fillers between ad spaces • Cf. genetically modified seeds sold to developing world to capture markets and ‘greenwash’ The Open Agenda
  8. 8. Language Neo-liberal language now used by public sector: • Business model, efficiency, market, customers, brand, ranking, sustainability, economies of scale, etc. • Shift from teaching, student support services, and delivery to focus on outcomes and accreditation (code name “personalisation”)
  9. 9. Language: fear & greed • “Digital Natives & Immigrants” • “Higher education in 50 years will be provided by no more than 10 institutions worldwide” • “Education is broken”… a meme for selling tech • "The next big killer application for the Internet is going to be education.” • “The [UK] government aims to ‘drive competition and innovation’, through a more market-based approach to higher education, allowing students to choose between a range of providers.”
  10. 10. Power
  11. 11. “An avalanche is coming”
  12. 12. Summing Up: The Future • To develop alternatives we should know from where we are starting. • There is a role for public institutions and government…rolling back privatisation • Democratising HE – lessons from the 19th century? • The radicals of the early 19th century held that education should be ‘accessible to the public and transparent to the public gaze’

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