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Penny Welch

Using statistics, documentary evidence and commentary from academics and academic trades unions, this article analyses

the key features of U.K. government policy towards higher

education in England since 1979. The focus is on England

because the details of policy and policy implementation vary

between the four nations of the U.K. My findings support the view that, over the whole period, successive governments established increasing central control over the higher education system and mobilised it to meet goals compatible with government interpretations of the national interest. In the process, the total number of

students in U.K. higher education has trebled, the average cost of a

student place has almost halved and the proportion of income from

public funds has fallen to 55% (Universities UK 2007).

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Penny Welch and Susan Wright

We are delighted to introduce the first volume of Learning and Teaching: The International Journal of Higher Education in the Social Sciences. As founding and now-former editors of Learning and Teaching in the Social Sciences (LATISS), our new journal reflects a strong continuity in the editorial aims that inspired our first journal. We remain committed to using social science perspectives to analyse learning and teaching in higher education. In particular we invite contributors and readers to reflect critically on how students’ and academics’ practices are shaped by, or themselves influence, wider changes in university strategies and national and international policies for higher education. Viewing changes in course design and curriculum, in students’ writing, in group work, seminars or tutorials as taking place within a network (or lattice) of institutional, political and policy contexts is the focus of this journal.

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Barbara Grant and Penny Welch

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Penny Welch and Susan Wright

Welcome to Volume 4 of Learning and Teaching: The International Journal of Higher Education in the Social Sciences. LATISS has been gradually widening its focus from its point of origin in the U.K. and this issue is truly international with material from Latin America, U.S.A, Sweden and England. LATISS’s approach – to study and reflect on the detail of teaching and learning practices in contexts of institutional change and national and international policies – is also well exemplified by the articles in this issue. For example, three of the articles explore issues of ‘race’ and ethnicity in connection with programme design, institutional politics and classroom relations respectively and in very different historical and policy contexts. Two articles also connect to topics on which LATISS has recently published special issues: on gender in higher education and on using the university as a site to critically explore the meaning and operation of neoliberalism.

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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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Penny Welch and Wright Susan

Welcome to the third issue of Learning and Teaching: The International Journal of Higher Education in the Social Sciences. This issue completes the 2008 volume. Our thanks go to the authors of articles and reviews, the anonymous referees who read the articles, the publishers who provided review copies of the books, our own publisher, Berghahn, and the editorial board.

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Penny Welch and Susan Wright

In this issue of Learning and Teaching: The International Journal of Higher Education in the Social Sciences, academics from Sweden, the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom offer insights into a number of features of undergraduate study – independent study projects, the development of political attitudes, the graduate attributes agenda, general education courses in global studies and the attainment gap between students with different types of entry qualifications.

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Penny Welch and Susan Wright

In this issue of Learning and Teaching: The International Journal of Higher Education in the Social Sciences, academics from Denmark, Chile, the United States and the United Kingdom analyse capacity-building projects between European and African universities, the experiences of mobile academics returning to their home country, the role of tutors on international interdisciplinary MA programmes, the contemporary relevance of classical and medieval approaches to education and levels of information literacy among undergraduates.

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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, commentaries and reviews, the anonymous referees who read the articles, the publishers who provided review copies of the books, our own publisher Berghahn and the Editorial Board.

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Penny Welch and Susan Wright