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The Intimate University: Korean American Students and the Problems of Segregation

Eli Thorkelson

Nancy Abelmann (2009) The Intimate University: Korean American Students and the Problems of Segregation

Review by Eli Thorkelson

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Qualifications frameworks and their conflicting social imaginaries of globalisation

Laura Louise Sarauw

Critics often see the European Bologna Process as a univocal standardisation of higher education. By exploring how different qualifications frameworks project different social imaginaries of globalisation, this article takes a different stance. The overarching qualifications framework of the Bologna Process rests on a socially constituted and contested concept of globalisation as a change towards a more diverse and unforeseeable world, which calls for the development of flexible, lifelong learners with a broad knowledge base and strong democratic competencies. Although this social imaginary is widely known, I argue that it is also highly contested. For example, the Danish qualifications framework of 2003 projects a social imaginary of globalisation as a change towards a smaller and more predictable world, which enables a novel and more efficient alignment of the curriculum towards specific professional needs, and where the development of a broad knowledge base and democratic competencies are no longer prioritised.

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The academic rat race: Dilemmas and problems in the structure of academic competition

Xavier Landes, Martin Marchman, and Morten Nielsen

The social benefits expected from academia are generally identified as belonging to three broad categories: research, education and contribution to society in general. However, evaluating the present situation of academia according to these criteria reveals a somewhat disturbing phenomenon: an increased pressure to produce articles (in peer-reviewed journals) has created an unbalanced emphasis on the research criterion at the expense of the latter two. More fatally, this pressure has turned academia into a rat race, leading to a deep change in the fundamental structure of academic behaviour, and entailing a self-defeating and hence counter-productive pattern, where more publications is always better and where it becomes increasingly difficult for researchers to keep up with the new research in their field. The article identifies the pressure to publish as a problem of collective action. It ends up by raising questions about how to break this vicious circle and restore a better balance between all three of the social benefits of academia.

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Book Reviews

Katherine Nielsen, Beth Perry, and Alan Scott

Lynette Shultz, Ali A. Abdi, George H. Richardson (eds) (2011) Global Citizenship Education in Post-secondary Institutions: Theories, Practices, Policies

Review by Katherine Nielsen

Peter Quiddington (2010) Knowledge and Its Enemies: Towards a New Case for Higher Learning

Review by Beth Perry

Benjamin Ginsberg (2011) The Fall of the Faculty: The Rise of the All-Administrative University and Why it Matters

Review by Alan Scott

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Change management at a Danish university: The introduction of a common market for education

Helle Bundgaard

This article discusses the approach to the management of change taken by a Danish university when introducing a university-wide market for education and it explores the different positions taken by some of the central stakeholders in one of the faculties involved. I argue that neither the inadequacies of a popular management model nor insufficient communication fully explain the problems with the change project. Based on strategy papers, memorandums and detailed observations of meetings, I discuss the introduction of the education market and analyse the reception given by directors of studies to a specific social technology, a common year and timetable structure. I offer an explanation of their reactions that draws on an anthropological approach to organisations. I call for university leaders to take what I call an 'improvisational' approach to leadership, which takes account of local ways of interpreting the meaning and significance of large-scale changes and works through professional motivation.

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Developing learning spaces in higher education: An evaluation of experimental spaces at the University of Leicester

Phil Wood, Paul Warwick, and Derek Cox

Consideration of the physical environment in which learning takes place has become a growing area of academic interest over the past decade. This study focuses on the experiences and perceptions of academic staff and students who used three refurbished, and innovative, learning spaces at the University of Leicester. The results suggest that the physical environment can have an impact on the emotional and motivational experiences of students and staff. However, there is some suggestion that learning space development should not be at the expense of approaches to pedagogy which do not foreground the use of technologies.

The analysis of the users' experiences leads to the proposition of a theoretical model for the apt design of future learning spaces in Higher Education. The DEEP learning space framework outlines the need for careful consideration being given to dynamic, engaging, ecological and participatory (DEEP) dimensions within the twenty-first century learning space.

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Editorial

Penny Welch and Susan Wright

Welcome to this issue of Learning and Teaching: The International Journal of Higher Education in the Social Sciences. Our thanks go to the authors of articles, the essay and the reviews, the anonymous referees who read the articles and the essay, the publishers who provided review copies of the books, our own publisher Berghahn and the Editorial Board.

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Enhancing and supporting the role of academic tutors in developing undergraduate writing skills: Reflections on the experiences of a social work education programme

Nathan Hughes, Sue Wainwright, and Caroline Cresswell

Whilst approaches to the development of undergraduate academic writing skills vary between disciplines and institutions, academic tutors are consistently presented as playing an important role. One aspect of this role is supporting students to engage effectively with feedback in order to develop consciousness and competence regarding academic writing. This article reports on the use of a form, which was designed to encourage students to use feedback in a structured and consistent manner and to support subsequent tutor-tutee dialogue. Students and tutors who used the form suggest it encouraged students to reflect on their learning needs and identify priority issues for discussion with the tutor. However, barriers to its effective use remain. In particular, there was resistance amongst students to accessing academic support, due to anxieties that staff would look negatively upon those who seek help. Students expressed concern that tutors would perceive those seeking support as failing to cope with the demands of independent study, a set of skills they perceive that they were required to have on arrival at university, rather than to acquire during the course of their studies with the help and guidance of their academic tutor.

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Book Reviews

Gina Wisker (2012) The Good Supervisor, 2nd ed.

Review by Ortrun Zuber-Skerritt

Stefan Collini (2012) What Are Universities For?

Review by Antonino Palumbo

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Choosing a field: How graduate student choices of field sites reflect different ideas of 'real' anthropology in Colombia and the United States

Laura Macía

This paper examines the decisions and motivations of graduate students in cultural anthropology when defining the field sites and topics of their final projects. The decisions among students at the Universidad de los Andes in Colombia are contrasted with those at the University of Pittsburgh in the United States. A review of recent final projects in both universities was conducted, along with a survey and some follow-up questions with students in both institutions. A main difference found is that students at los Andes are more willing to do applied fieldwork at 'home', while students at Pittsburgh are far more reluctant to do so and prefer to go to distant fields. This distinction is partly explained by the histories of the anthropologies practised in each locale, and of what have been considered 'proper' field sites in cultural anthropology. In particular, a vision of anthropology as an applied enterprise emerged at different historical moments in these two geo-political locations, and those visions are associated with quite different, opposed values today.