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Spatialising university reform

Between a centre and a periphery in contemporary Finland

Sonja Trifuljesko

Spatiality of the contemporary university reform During its long history, the university as an institution has periodically gone through radical transformations globally, and it is currently experiencing such a period of transition. The latest

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Studying anthropology in the age of the university reform

Angelo Romano

This article concerns the changes produced by the introduction of university reform in the Anthropology Department at the University of Rome ‘La Sapienza’. It scrutinizes how the reform has been negotiated in relation to local traditions and habits by closely observing the practices of teachers and students, and by listening to and analyzing the narratives they produce. It analyses the relationships between university transformation and epistemic as well as institutional changes in a single discipline and puts forward the crucial question: how is anthropology changing inside the university in change?

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Understanding university reform in Japan through the prism of the social sciences

Rogers Goodman

This article looks at current university reforms in Japan through two slightly different social science prisms: how social science methodologies and theories can help us understand those reforms better and how social science teaching in universities will be affected by the current reform processes.

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Responding to university reform in South Africa

Student activism at the University of Limpopo

Bjarke Oxlund

Fifteen years ago South Africa's first democratic government inherited a tertiary sector marred by racial segregation. Since then higher education policies have been implemented with the aim of turning the sector around. Using the historically black University of Limpopo as a case, this article examines the impact of these policies from the perspective of students. It does so by combining a situational analysis of the student protests that erupted in 2007 at the University's main campus with a critical review of the impact that the new policies have had on university funding and autonomy.

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The Bolivarian University of Venezuela: A radical alternative in the global field of higher education?

Mariya Ivancheva

This article discusses paradoxes in the emergent global field of higher education as reflected in an alternative model of the university – the Bolivarian University of Venezuela (UBV) and the related higher education policy, Misión Sucre. With its credo in the applied social sciences, its commitment to popular pedagogy and its dependence on extensive fieldwork with communities, UBV offers an alternative model of science and research at the service of society. Drawing on my ongoing research on this university (since 2008), I present the difficulties which the homogenising standards of a global field of higher education pose to a rapidly developing mass public university in a semiperipheral country. I focus on the difficulty of developing evaluation procedures for UBV as this exposes contradictions which are both unique to this new university model and common for a world system of higher education.

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‘What is driving university reform in the age of globalization?’


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Beyond collusion and resistance: Academic–management relations within the neoliberal university

Cris Shore and Miri Davidson

As an early pioneer of market-led institutional reforms and New Public Management policies, New Zealand arguably has one of the most 'neoliberalised' tertiary education sectors in the world. This article reports on a recent academic dispute concerning the attempt by management to introduce a new category of casualised academic employee within one of the country's largest research universities. It is based on a fieldwork study, including document analysis, interviews and the participation of both authors in union and activist activities arising from the dispute. Whilst some academics may collude in the new regimes of governance that these reforms have created, we suggest that 'collusion' and 'resistance' are inadequate terms for explaining how academic behaviour and subjectivities are being reshaped in the modern neoliberal university. We argue for a more theoretically nuanced and situational account that acknowledges the wider legal and systemic constraints that these reforms have created. To do this, we problematise the concept of collusion and reframe it according to three different categories: 'conscious complicity', 'unwitting complicity' and 'coercive complicity'. We ask, what happens when one must 'collude' in order to resist, or when certain forms of opposition are rendered impossible by the terms of one's employment contract? We conclude by reflecting on ways in which academics understand and engage with the policies of university managers in contexts where changes to the framework governing employment relations have rendered conventional forms of resistance increasingly problematic, if not illegal.

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Part 5: Higher Education Futures

David Mills, Davydd J. Greenwood, Jill Blackmore, Laura Louise Sarauw, and Søren S.E. Bengtsen

, Higher Education Management, and Higher Education Policy: An International Network for University Reform, which ran from 2004 to 2006. Very quickly, I learnt that I should have gotten to know Sue and her work long before because, with very different

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Wright, Susan, Stephen Carney, John Benedicto Krejsler, Gritt Bykærholm Nielsen and Jakob Williams Ørberg. 2020. Enacting the university. Danish university reform in an ethnographic perspective. Dordrecht: Springer. 348 pp. Pb: US$24.99. ISBN: 9402419209.

Mariya Ivancheva

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Trends and tensions of higher education at a rural Japanese national university

Anthony Rausch

trajectory of neoliberal reform in higher education. An Asian case: University reform in Japan The broad trends in higher education in Japan point to a transition from massification – whereby enrolment in higher education jumped from 16 per cent of