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ES1204: Reflections on Autobiography Week 8 What is Higher Education? 1.

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Presentation on theme: "ES1204: Reflections on Autobiography Week 8 What is Higher Education? 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 ES1204: Reflections on Autobiography Week 8 What is Higher Education? 1

2 Weeks 2 to 7 - reflecting on your past experiences of Education Weeks 8 to 11 – reflecting/thinking about your present experiences of education Today = Exploring our experiences of / ideas about higher education. Thinking about current issues in higher education Week 9 = Thinking about the tradition from which our present forms of higher education have emerged Week 10 = Examining the theory of Ronald Barnett in light of our explorations today and next week in preparation for your essay Week 11 = Academic conventions. 2

3 Preparing for the session Organise yourselves into discussion groups of 6 to 8(ish). Identify a member/s of your group who is/are willing to speak/feedback discussion points on behalf of your group There will be 3 sets of discussion/feedback points today so you might like to change your spokesperson for each set. 3

4 Reflecting on your experiences of the present… Where are we now…. Questions to discuss: Why did you come to University? Did you feel pressured to come to university if so, from where did the pressure come? What are you expecting from your higher education? How do you expect your higher education to impact on your future? 4

5 Your Expectations….  What do you think the university will/should do/provide?  For employment?  For life?  What is ‘higher’ about higher education?  Is it ‘higher’ in terms of content, process…?  What distinguishes ‘higher’ from other forms of education?  Should higher education be comprehensive/inclusive?  Is higher education a hierarchical system?  What about entry requirements?  Degree classifications?  Is University what you thought it would be  In terms of what we do (content/study)?  In terms of how we do things (approach/demands on you)? 5

6 What is higher education? Tradition –v- a business model In a paper given at Harvard University Christopher Nelson says. ‘human beings are much the same in this century as in the last and in the many centuries before now. Thus, the best education for what it might mean to lead the best human life cannot have changed in its fundamentals all that much. The most complete form of education serves this purpose: to help us come to understand the human condition in order that we might make for ourselves a life worth living. As important as the world of work is to us, we don’t live in order to get a job, but we work in order to make it possible for us to live a good life’ (Nelson, 2010:1) Next week, Becky will take you back to the ‘tradition’ where the significance of these claims will become clearer In The Future of the University in a Knowledge Economy (2009), Lord Mandelson says… ‘Th[e] process of knowledge generation and stewardship is a public trust and important in its own right. However it is vital that universities use it to contribute to economic growth, both through commercial application of the knowledge they generate and through preparing our people for the world of modern work. Building new partnerships with business and industry will provide an important channel for generating the financial resources universities need to fund further investment.’ (Mandelson, 2009: content/uploads/publications/Higher-Ambitions-Summary.pdf ) content/uploads/publications/Higher-Ambitions-Summary.pdf 6

7 Higher education policy/reports National Committee of Inquiry into Higher Education The Dearing Report (published in 1997). Until 1998, all education in the UK was free (including higher education). Under the leadership of Tony Blair the Labour government abolished the student maintenance grant system and introduced an up-front fee fixed at just over £1,000 per year for all university students. They also set a target to increase the proportion of students going on to Higher Education to 50% by * Extracts from the Dearing Report are on Page 1 of the handout you’ve been given 7

8 Higher Education Act 2004 (came into force in 2006) Relating to the extract from Charles Clarke’s White Paper – The Future of Higher Education The Higher Education Act 2004 introduced several changes to the higher education system in the UK. The most notable and controversial was the major change to the funding of universities and the changes to tuition fees. Changes in the 2004 Higher Education Act included: Change in fee structure (universities were able to change between £0 and £3,000 per year tuition fees) No ‘up front’ fees Fees would be paid through a loan system which graduates would pay back when earning above a certain amount (initially £10,000, then increased to £15,000) *Extracts from Charles Clarke’s White paper (a report on these changes and reforms) are on page 2 of your handout 8

9 2010 – where are we now? Securing a Sustainable Future for Higher Education. Lord Browne’s review of higher education (published 12 th October 2010) recommended reforms for higher education. Led by Lord Brown (former chair executive of BP), the Browne panel was launched on 9 th November 2009 to review and consider the future of higher education in relation to higher education funding and student finance * Extracts from the Browne review are on pages 3 and 4 of your handout 9

10 Read through the reports or sections of them… Points for group discussion… How do the reports demonstrate the changes higher education has undergone in recent years? On what is the emphasis placed in each report? Do the reports have a different ‘feel’ to them? If so, what? Think about… The changes that have and are occurring The pros and cons (and potential pros and cons) of these changes How do/have/might the changes reflected in these reports and reviews change the nature of higher education? What impact have/could these changes have on student experience? 10

11 Current issues in higher education: Changes and their implications  Speech given by Professor Geoffrey Crossick (Vice Chancellor of University of London) before the announcement of the proposed reforms (but the announcement was immanent)   The announcements about the impending reforms came with many significant proposals not least:  Huge cuts in higher education funding  Some subject areas more significantly affected (the Humanities and the Arts in particular)  Major reform to the price of a degree and how a degree will be funded  Up to a 300% rise in fees  Cap at £6,000 per year tuition fee (but could be up to £9,000)  Universities can decide what they change (between £6-9,000)  Different degree could have a different price. 11

12 What might the implications of the reforms be? For a student from a middle income family, a three-year degree with annual tuition fees of £6,000 would cost a total of £38,286, including maintenance loans and interest payments. Other concerns: Higher Education becomes a ‘free market’ Universities and courses will be forced to compete with one another Some universities might be driven to closure The curriculum could be dangerously narrowed Two year degrees? Arts, humanities and social sciences programmes are likely to become particularly vulnerable A two tier system? Could some degrees/forms of higher education become the preserve of the rich?

13 Students becoming political… Concerns about these cuts led to a National Demonstration on in London Thoughts to end with…


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