Thursday, 18 November 2010

'The Death of the University, English Style' by Nick Couldry and Angela McRobbie

The Death of the University, English Style
Nick Couldry and Angela McRobbie

Something important died on 12 October 2010 [date of publication of The Browne Report]: the idea of the university in England.

Perhaps 'received its death warrant' would be more accurate than 'died'. For there are still some weeks left in which to challenge the fate that the Browne Report proposed for our university system. But that requires looking closely at the mechanisms Browne proposes.

The Browne Report says it's about funding 'a sustainable funding solution for the future' of higher education. It calls for more investment and offers a new mechanism for generating investment, by putting 'choice . . . in the hands of the students'.

Who could object to more, and better, choice for students? We certainly don't. That is why it is important to understand that the new funding mechanism Browne proposes is only very partially about choice.

Thus begins a short article by Couldry and McRobbie at the Culture Machine website. You read the rest of it here. It is the first in a proposed series on this topic to which anyone can contribute, as follows:

Culture Machine invites its readers to join in the debate called for by Couldry and McRobbie in 'The Death of the University, English Style'. We are seeking contributions in the form of short think pieces or micro-essays of 500-1000 words on any aspect of:

- the future of higher education in England and the UK;
- the position of the arts, humanities and social sciences within the university;
- the role and nature of the university in a democratic society.

Please email all contributions to Gary Hall at, remembering to include your full name and academic affiliation (if any). (If, for institutional or other reasons, you would prefer to have your piece published anonymously, we would be happy to accommodate this.)

All contributions will be reviewed by the Editorial Board on a rolling basis, with those accepted for publication being made immediately available on the Culture Machine site.

Nick Couldry is Professor of Media and Communications at Goldsmiths, University of London, His latest book is Why Voice Matters: Culture and Politics After Neoliberalism  (Sage, 2010).

Angela McRobbie is Professor of Communications at Goldsmiths, University of London. Her latest book is The Aftermath of Feminism (Sage, 2009).

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