This article focuses on the site where much anthropological work is conducted—universities—and anthropological approaches to studying their current transformations. Although I work comparatively on the imagining and enactment of universities in Denmark and Britain, here I focus on the recent changes to universities in England, which have taken many by surprise, as if they exceeded anyone's wildest imagination and were even beyond belief. I will trace how the “conditions of possibility” for the current changes came about—the tripling of student fees, removal of government funding for teaching in arts and social sciences, and transfer of public resources to commercial, for-profit higher education companies. I will briefly outline the problems that opponents to these moves are having in imagining an alternative future, let alone organizing themselves to contest current developments. In conclusion, I will point to the changes in anthropology itself that are incurred when engaging in an ethnography of such a large policy field and when attempting to capture “what the present is producing” (Moore 1987: 727).
A View from Brazil and Latin America
Liliana L. Jubilut
engaged in their protection—has been championed recently, for example, by the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration 1 (as noted in its guiding principles, paragraph 15). Within this framework, universities can play a significant role and
A Participant Observer’s View
When I read about the petition to ‘decolonize’ Cambridge University’s English literature syllabus, my first question was, ‘Why are they using the term for independence from empire preferred by the departing colonial powers?’ Then, ‘Why is a post
Young Men Talking about Place, Community, and Belonging in Manchester
Khawla Badwan and Samantha Wilkinson
Universities are as a means of leaving for the city for young people living increasingly precarious and mobile lives. This article explores how male university students (aged 18–25) talk about, and belong to, the places they inhabit in Greater Manchester, England. Drawing on mixed-methods data collection from survey responses and in-depth semi-structured interviews, this article finds that while young men embrace liquid understandings of place, they express tensions between “insiders” and “outsiders.” While universities appear to be significant places for male university students, only half the participants reported feelings of belonging to university communities. Consequently, this article proposes recommendations for universities, in order to ensure male university students feel they can open up to staff, thereby enabling them to feel part of a “learning community”—a key theme of the National Student Survey.
Challenges and Concrete, Plain Language Strategies for Community Engagement in Research
Janet Page-Reeves and Lidia Regino
has also come from the people who participate in research studies who want to be involved as more than just research ‘subjects’. Community organisations, community members, and patients see potential benefits to community–university health research
Higher education reform in the ‘periphery’
Mariya Ivancheva and Ivo Syndicus
In recent years, an increasing body of work has addressed the ‘corporatisation’ and ‘commodification’ of universities, as well as higher education sector reforms more broadly. This work refers mostly to the traditional core hubs of higher education, such as the Anglo-American research university. In the emerging anthropology of higher education policy, accounts of the implementation and negotiation of reforms in more ‘peripheral’ contexts often remain absent. This collection of articles addresses this absence by focusing on the interplay between narratives of global policy reform and the processes of their implementation and negotiation in different contexts in the academic ‘periphery’. Bringing together work from a range of settings and through different lenses, the special issue provides insights into the common processes of reform that are underway and how decisions to implement certain reforms reaffirm rather than challenge peripheral positions in higher education.
Knowledge production and the politics of positionality in globalized and neoliberalized times
This theme section seeks to keep alive important debates about the place of anthropology in the world that have been raised periodically since the 1970s, and most recently in a special issue of this journal entitled “Changing Flows in Anthropological Knowledge” (Buchowski and Dominguez 2012). The three articles in this theme section consider the place of anthropology in the university system, the building of a world anthropology, and the methodological challenges of the new conditions in which we work. All three critically address the interface and relationship between areas of changing power/knowledge and their relevance to the future of anthropology: both its place in the world and its contribution to the world.
A Story of Media and Academia in Israel, 1977–2013
Hagai Boas and Ayelet Baram-Tsabari
The Israeli military radio station Galei Zahal has often been viewed as an Israeli oddity ( Almog 1993 ; Naor 2014 ; Soffer 2015 ). This station’s academic program, The University on Air ( Ha-Universita Ha-Meshuderet ), appears even more
Between a centre and a periphery in contemporary Finland
This article investigates contemporary attempts to reform the institution of the university according to neoliberal ideological influences and oppositions to them. It employs Doreen Massey’s concept of space to focus on relations and separations made in the process. My ethnography of the University of Helsinki’s 375th anniversary celebration, which turned into a public spectacle of various visions of higher education, constitutes the main empirical material. Finland’s ambivalent position in the world renders the spatial work of forging connections and disconnections particularly conspicuous. It enables specific neoliberal aspirations (such as to be among ‘the world’s best universities’ amidst global competition) to become very strong but also allows additional trajectories, like the one about higher education as public goods, to present themselves as legitimate alternatives. The centre-periphery relations are therefore critical sites for analysing the contemporary university transformation, since they appear to be key drivers of the reform but also the primary source of resistance to it.
A Guilt-Free Explanation
It is becoming widely recognized that far fewer young males than females are entering university. Blame is directed, for example, to the school system, feminism and parenting, but the fundamental reason is not something for which anyone should be blamed; rather, it is a mathematically inevitable result of the relentless expansion of the university system. Other factors might be important, and some are very important, but they accentuate, rather than cause, the imbalance. The true root cause has to be recognized and tackled if we are to make progress concerning what is becoming a massive social problem.