Presentation on theme: "Globalisation, regionalism and the university: Making widened participation relevant to locality.’ Pete Jones & Steve Wyn Williams Academic Development."— Presentation transcript:
Globalisation, regionalism and the university: Making widened participation relevant to locality.’ Pete Jones & Steve Wyn Williams Academic Development Institute Staffordshire University Contact:
Introduction The goal articulated in the Lisbon Strategy to make the EU the most dynamic and competitive knowledge-based economy in the world capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion, and respect for the environment by 2010” is clearly a challenge for the whole of the EU The message is clear: competitive success will increasingly depend on the ability not only to produce knowledge but also to utilise it effectively, and, therefore, there is a need for firms, communities, regions and nations to invest a greater share of resources in education and training than they have in the past. The recent Leitch Review of Skills (2006) has articulated very effectively the challenges in the UK context.
Clearly, this need is an even more challenging for urban areas which have suffered from the consequences of industrial restructuring and the concomitant social and economic impacts. In fact, for these areas there is a dual challenge: To make the transition from a predominantly industrially- based economy to one which is knowledge-based. To move from a position characterised by low educational aspirations and achievement and a low-skills equilibrium to one where higher level education and training is embedded.
In supporting these twin transitions the regional role of Universities and particularly their widening participation mission will be a key mechanism. The key question is how this transition is going to be accomplished – this presentation addresses some of the issues.
Context Undoubtedly, one of the central processes driving contemporary economic (and socio-cultural) change is globalisation: “...an intensification of worldwide social relations, via which far away places are linked together in such a way that events in one place are affected by processes taking place many miles away, and vice-versa...”(Giddens, 1999) The concept of ‘Glocalization’ (Robertson, 1992), suggests that the disembedding (or deterritorialisation) of social relations is constantly met with new attempts at re- embedding (re-territorialisation): it has therefore been argued that globalisation is accompanied by a regionalisation process.
Regions will become more and more important as centres of economic and technological organization and focal points for the creation and transmission of knowledge and ideas, thus becoming learning regions. For Richard Florida for this to happen the prescription is clear: “To be effective in this increasingly borderless global economy, regions must be defined by the same criteria and elements which comprise a knowledge-intensive firm: continuous improvement, new ideas, knowledge creation and organisational learning. Regions must adopt the principles of knowledge creation and continuous learning; they must in effect become knowledge creating or learning regions” (R. Florida)
In this new economic environment regions build economic advantage through their ability to mobilize and to harness knowledge and ideas. A learning region requires a human infrastructure of knowledge workers who can apply their intelligence in production. The education and training system must be a learning system that can facilitate life-long learning Universities play a crucial role in the context of the opportunities and risks generated by the new economy – in industries where products and services will be developed increasingly through expert and tacit knowledge.
However, in reality, for regions the impact of globalisation is a two edged sword: Benefits have accrued to some firms and places who have managed to adjust and grasp the opportunities provided by the globalising world economy On the other hand “the opening of national economies is also revealing local and regional economic structures with little or no capacity to compete in a globalised environment” (Pike et al, 2006) Those dynamic areas which have benefited are in a minority and “more often than not regions and localities struggle to adapt their economic fabric to the emergent conditions” (Pike et al 2006)
And while Florida’s prescription is correct (as is the Lisbon Strategy and the Leitch Review, for that matter) insofar as a knowledge economy requires knowledge workers, the journey that many region’s have to make can be a long and difficult one. There is a significant body of research focussing on innovation, knowledge and learning in local and regional development policy and the role of universities. An important strand of research has focussed on Regional Innovation Systems (RIS) and their importance in harnessing global flows to stimulate economic growth in a global knowledge economy (e.g. Cooke 2005, Benneworth, 2005) The regional innovation system as a local circulation between globally-connected regional innovators
Within RIS Universities play a key role in local and regional development, as Goddard (1999) has observed: “Within the local environment, the availability of knowledge and skills is as relevant as the physical infrastructure and in this regard, the regionally engaged university becomes a key locational asset and a powerhouse for economic development.” This view has also been articulated more recently in an European context by Reichert (European University Association, 2006) - ‘The Rise of knowledge Regions: Emerging Opportunities and Challenges for Universities’
Universities are included as key element in the Work Foundation’s definition of an Ideopolis - “a sustainable knowledge city that drives economic success in the wider city-region”: High levels of economic success High levels of knowledge intensity A diverse industry base including distinctive specialist niches One or more universities that have a mutually beneficial relationship with the city, leading to industries built on research strengths, transfer of knowledge to businesses and the retention of graduates
Strong communications infrastructure and good transport links within the city and to other cities, including by air, rail and road A distinctive long-term ‘knowledge city’ offer to investors and individuals alike, created by public and private sector leaders Strategies to ensure that all communities benefit from the economic success associated with knowledge
Indigenous and Endogenous Development and the Importance of Education and Skills However, these developments are unlikely to be realised in localities without the ‘right’ skills base. Increased emphasis in recent years on the mobilisation of indigenous potential: According to Pike et al (2006) central to the indigenous approach “is the idea of latent or somehow underutilised assets and resources that require mobilisation or stimulation to make or increase their substantive contributions to local and regional development”. The emphasis is on ‘development from below’ (rather than top down) and growth from within localities and regions.
Again Pike et al note: “People in localities and regions are a key resource given their potential to upgrade their labour and quality through, education training and development” “Central to local and regional competitiveness [by] raising the capacity of individuals and groups to develop and to use new innovations and technology to improve productivity” Clearly, in this context Universities are central element in the so-called ‘human capital pyramid’ (see fig 1) and, particularly in the context of this presentation, are crucial in the widening of high level learning opportunities to under-represented groups.
Barriers One of the key barriers identified by Arbo and Benneworth (2006) is the ‘low skills equilibrium’ observed most clearly in many non-core, de- industrialised urban areas. Lack of demand for higher-level skills reduces training incentives, but the lack of supply prevents knowledge- intensive activities emerging. This leads to limited general upskilling of human capital in a region or locality As Arbo and Benneworth (2006) note the key issue is how to address barriers at every level and produce coherent progression pathways (see figure 2 ) Finally, figure 3 provides a summary of how HEIs can contribute to the human capital upgrading process particular localities and regions
Figure 1 The human capital process as a series of pathways to higher human capital levels (Arbo and Benneworth, 2006)
Figure 2 Barriers faced by human capital pathways in ordinary regions (Arbo and Benneworth, 2006)
Figure 3 Universities at the heart of the human capital upgrading process (Arbo and Benneworth, 2006)
Defining Widening Participation Widening participation as Widening Access-New routes into old structures Archer and Hutchings (in Longden 2001) suggest a stratification of provision within Higher Education. In which the children of middle class parents inhabit a world of dreaming spires and prestigious degrees, whilst others may reasonably aspire to attend inner city ex- polytechnics, Longden (2001) suggests that within the sector as a whole there exists a ‘stratified layer of elitism’, in which some institutions have historically discriminated against non-traditional students. An example of such elitism has been the reluctance of some institutions to admit students from state as opposed to private schools
Wagner (1995) has suggested that during the 1990’s the UK higher education system whilst becoming mass with regard to its size had remained elite in its values. This paradox of a mass system with elitist values and the existence of at least a perceived two-tier system may imply that ‘widening participation’ may quite legitimately mean different things to different institutions. In only 29% of the UK full-time undergraduate entrants where from lower Socio-economic Groups (SEGs).
2004 Russell Group 26.5% successful applicants from low SEGs 2000 Russell Group 26.4% successful applicants from low SEGs 2004 post 1992s 49% successful applicants from low SEGs 2000 post 1992s 45.7%successful applicants from low SEGs (Thomas et al, 2006) Simply removing the barriers to access is not enough. (Cooper,2003) Removing obstacles and devising new routes into old structures does not necessarily ‘Widen Participation’
If institutions are truly to widen participation to underrepresented groups, the retention of such students should be of equal if not greater importance than widening access. (Abramson and Jones, 2003) Defined broadly in two distinct yet related ways. Firstly, as simply widening access to higher education to those previously under-represented: secondly how successfully students engage and participate in higher education once they have gained access
More of the same An increased undergraduate recruitment has been seized upon by most institutions as an obvious means toward reaching the government 2010 target. This should come as little surprise as the sector is burdened with structures and a culture that implicitly value the full-time undergraduate as the core of its mission A fact that is more explicitly suggested in the current funding framework. To date much of the widening participation agenda has been carried out along the lines of more of the same or simply new routes into old structures.
This is not to belittle the progress already made with reference to widening participation in enabling students from historically under-represented groups to access, engage and benefit from this engagement with higher education on many levels. It is merely to suggest that the challenges ahead require a more radical assessment of what widening participation will mean for institutions. Debates and interventions around widening participation are becomingly viewed increasingly in terms of functionality and the development of human capital. As indeed are the roles of both tertiary and higher education in general.
Higher education is being viewed as increasingly remedial- when rapid technological or social change leads to demand for higher levels of knowledge and skill in labour market. And Assimilative- When the dominant economic, political, cultural and social institutions and patterns are under threat or when new people have to be assimilated. Social mobility and demand for recreational education follow successful remedial/assimilative education.
Shifting Government Rhetoric 1998 The Learning Age The Learning Age will be built on a renewed commitment to self-improvement and on a recognition of the enormous contribution learning makes to our society. Learning helps shape the values which we pass on to each succeeding generation. Learning supports active citizenship and democracy, giving men and women the capacity to provide leadership in their communities. (David Blunket -Foreword)
Realising the Potential 2005 We remain strongly committed to learning for personal fulfilment, civic participation and community development and are taking steps to strengthen the range, and quality of such provision …but there will increasingly be an expectation that individuals should pay for this kind of provision where they can afford to do so.’ Andrew Foster
This functional approach fails to raise questions about structural societal inequalities and the role of education in perpetuating these. It promotes the commodification of higher education- short-termism, market driven, creates an education market, assembly line methods of teaching and assessment, etc. And a failure to Question: What counts as knowledge and how is it produced? How is what counts as knowledge organised? How is what counts as knowledge communicated? How is access to what counts as knowledge determined? What are the processes of control? What ideological appeals justify the system? (Tobias, 2006) It also fails to give value to learning for learning’s sake or recognise wider benefits of learning.
A major challenge to the sector is providing the functional skill base required by government, locality, and learners whilst continuing to provide higher learning. These need not be mutually exclusive: We must question many of the assumptions we currently make regarding not only potential students, but what the role of a university is. We need to place the learners needs at the centre of our mission and to recognise learning when and where it takes place and to recognise its validity and relevance to the learner. Maybe it is time to question the previously held distinctions between ‘liberal’ and vocational, education and training which may be becoming irrelevant.
The academy is no longer able to define, encapsulate, validate and own and control subject knowledge in the monopolistic fashion of previous eras. Learning and knowledge can now be de-coupled from its traditional institutional setting.’ (Davies, 2001) If we are not the sole purveyors of knowledge, what is our role.
National Context A declining population Increasingly older population More ethnically diverse population More diverse qualifications A preference for courses with a tangible employability benefit Preponderance to enter higher education later A more competitive sector Different funding arrangements.
Source: ONS and Government Actuary's Department (2004 based projections, published in October 2005), adjusted by DfES for academic years year-olds from to Thousands Bekhradnia 2006
Changes in different age cohorts from by Academic Year Age group < Percentage change to Percentage change to Source: ONS and Government Actuary's Department (2004 based projections for England, published in October 2005), adjusted by DfES for academic years (from Bekhradnia 2006.).
Four Pillars of Learning Learning to Know -This type of learning is concerned less with the acquisition of structured knowledge than with the mastery of learning tools Learning to Do - How do we adapt education so that it can equip people to do the types of work needed in the future? Learning to Live Together -One of education's tasks is both to teach pupils and students about human diversity and to instil in them an awareness of the similarities and interdependence of all people. Learning to Be - Education should contribute to every person's complete development - mind and body, intelligence, sensitivity’ aesthetic, appreciation and spirituality. The Treasure Within- The Delors Commission (1999)
Enhancing Excellence in Learning and Teaching Widening Participation and Fair Access Enhancing Excellence in Research Enhancing the Contribution of HE to the Economy and Society Sustaining a High Quality Sector Enabling Excellence HEFCE Strategic Aims
North Staffordshire Urban Conurbation(2003) Population: 360,300 Working Age Population in Employment:153,000 Employment rate (working age population) 72.3% Proportion of adults with Level 3 qualifications: 12.3% Gross Average Weekly Earnings (adult, workplace based, % of GB average): 81% Proportion of households in receipt of Income Support or Family Credit:13.6% Proportion of employment in high technology manufacturing and private sector service industries:11.0% According to the DETR’s Index of Multiple Deprivation (2006), Stoke-on-Trent UA ranks as the 18th most deprived district in England (out of 354 districts in the country).
There has been much debate concerning a ‘new demography’ particularly with regard to the spheres of work and pensions, however, as advanced economies move toward ever more diverse and complex demographic change little has been done to gauge the impacts of these shifts on tertiary and higher education (Duke 2005) The demographic transition will effect different countries, regions and parts of regions in different ways. However, the trend is toward an older population. It is difficult to predict the impact of migration on Staffordshire however the West Midlands has recorded a net outflow of population since 1991, the most recent figure for 2003 was a 6,700 net outflow as a result of internal UK migration.
Profile by Age of Stoke on Trent Population
Population Projections, 1991 to 2011( Source :Staffordshire County Council in LSC 2003) Age groupBase Year Period endingChange Persons % Stoke-on-Trent retirement Retirement
S-O-T Year 11 Attainment 2006 All Pupils A* - C A* - C Including Maths % Stoke-on-Trent LEA49.3% 33.3% National Average 59.2%45.8% Educational Attainment and Aspirations Courtesy of Connexions Staffordshire
Continued Full -time Education Work Based Learning Less Desirable Outcomes SOT UA64.20%15.70%20.10% West Mid70.30%14.70%15.30% National71.70%13.50%14.80% LSC, 2003
16-18 yr olds Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET) Staffs – Nov 02 = 8.7% - Mar 06 = 7.3% Stoke – Nov 02 = 20.1% - Mar 06 = 16.7% More of these young people are now participating in some form of learning: Staffs – Mar 05 = 75% - Mar 06 = 78% Stoke – Mar 05 = 63% - Mar 06 = 67%
Qualifications Table CityWestEngland All people, aged Midlands No qualifications 42.90%34%28.90% With Level 1 as highest qualification attained 16.10%16.70%16.60% With Level 2 as highest qualification attained 16.90%18.50%19.40% With Level %7.40%8.30% With Level 3 and above 17.00%23.60%28.20% With Level 4 and above 9.90%16.20%19.90% With qualifications at Level unknown 7.00%7.20%6.90% Adult educational attainment 2001 (SOTCC, 2006)
Proportion of Employees by SIC in 2001 S-O-T 2001 Industry (SIC 1992)% 1 A : Agriculture, hunting and forestry0.2 2 B : Fishing0 3 C : Mining and quarrying0.2 4 D : Manufacturing E : Electricity, gas and water supply0.1 6 F : Construction8.7 7 G : Wholesale/retail trade; repair, etc H : Hotels and restaurants7.2 9 I : Transport, storage and communication J : Financial intermediation K : Real estate, renting, business activities L : Public admin/defence; social security2 13 M : Education N : Health and social work O : Other community, social/personal service7.6 Total100
Occupational areas of hard to fill vacancies (Staffordshire, 2002) Proportion of all hard to fill vacancies Managers3 Professionals3 Associate Professionals5 Admin/secretarial7 Skilled trades15 Personal Services12 Sales & customer services14 Process, plant and machine operatives17 Elementary occupations26 From LSC 2003
The Starting Point City competitiveness*rank 54 (out of 54) Knowledge based business*rank 54 (out of 54) Number of new businesses**16 per 10,000 (lowest in the UK) Sources: * Robert Huggins & Associates, UK Competitiveness Index 2002 ** Barclays Bank, 2003 From NSRZ 2004.
Conclusion Encouraging an innovative, creative and highly productive business base that can compete effectively in national and global environments. Providing a flexible and dynamic workforce that is motivated to acquire new skills and contribute to creating a highly competitive business location in North Staffordshire. Creating a highly competitive infrastructure, including city centre and other urban environments that are capable of attracting and retaining private investment, residents’ and visitors’ disposable income, and a highly skilled workforce.
However, as demonstrated, the conurbation is under-represented in the knowledge-based sectors that will drive forward future economic development. In particular, the conurbation is under-represented by around 14,000 jobs in financial, professional and business services Given the local demographic, educational and economic context and the city’s aspirations towards knowledge intensive regeneration it would seem evident that part of the Universities regional role must be a focus on widening participation. Furthermore, this widened participation requires the universities to place the learner’s needs at the centre of its mission and to recognise the validity and relevance of learning to the learner. The Universities regional role necessitates widening participation in its broadest sense.
There is also a plethora of conflicting (and often dated ) data. An agreed definition of the knowledge economy could pave the way for more robust and systematic data collection to aid regeneration The challenges to Stoke on Trent are immense and the University has a large role to play in its regeneration. Central to this role is widening participation However, the relevance and value of what the University provides to individuals, employers and the wider community should be determined through robust research and increased partnership working.
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