Conceptualising equality, equity and differentiation in marketised higher education: fractures and fault-lines in the neoliberal imaginary

MCCAIG, Colin, BOWL, Marion and HUGHES, Jonathan (2018). Conceptualising equality, equity and differentiation in marketised higher education: fractures and fault-lines in the neoliberal imaginary. In: BOWL, Marion, MCCAIG, Colin and HUGHES, Jonathan, (eds.) Equality and differentiation in marketised higher education: a new level playing field? Palgrave Studies in Excellence and Equity in Global Education . London, Palgrave, 195-210. (In Press)

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In this book we set out to explore the prospects for equality of opportunity in an English higher education policy context which has been steered towards marketisation. In our introductory chapter we set out three questions which we and the other contributors to this book have addressed in different ways: • What features of marketisation are most evident in higher education? • How does institutional differentiation impact on higher education institutions, staff and students? • By what means are policies, practices and discourses of marketisation and differentiation in higher education reconciled with those of equality of opportunity? We have attempted a multi-level analysis of the impact of marketisation, focusing initially on the international environment, then drilling down into an analysis of marketisation and differentiation and the implications for access to higher education in the English system, including the prospect of new 'challenger' institutions enabled and encouraged by the Higher Education and Research Act 2017 (HM Government 2017). At the level of practice, we have presented the perspectives of academics – a snap-shot of their responses to marketisation, widening participation and the demands of the 'metric tide' of audit and accountability which have accompanied marketisation. We thus present a dynamic picture which helps to explain the protogenesis of global as well as localised market reforms; this allows us to say something about the likely impact of ongoing marketisation on the academy, and particularly for groups underrepresented in higher education. In this concluding chapter we bring the discussion up to date by reviewing some of the developments in higher education policy which have unfolded during the period of preparing this book. We then discuss how the various contributions to the book have addressed the questions which we posed at the outset. Finally, we draw out the lessons from this exploration of marketisation, differentiation and equality in one country.

Item Type: Book Section
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Institute of Education
Page Range: 195-210
Depositing User: Colin Mccaig
Date Deposited: 13 Feb 2018 15:25
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 02:02

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