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Unit information: The Dynamics of Global Higher Education in 2021/22

Please note: It is possible that the information shown for future academic years may change due to developments in the relevant academic field. Optional unit availability varies depending on both staffing, student choice and timetabling constraints.

Unit name The Dynamics of Global Higher Education
Unit code EDUCM0068
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Lucas
Open unit status Not open
Pre-requisites

None

Co-requisites

None

School/department School of Education
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description

This unit will examine the socio-political, economic and technological changes that are shaping how higher education is being transformed. It will locate higher education in historical context, looking at the way in which ideas of the university, forms of the university and relations between the university and society have changed over time, introducing students to key texts in the canonical history of universities. It will examine how technological, economic, political and wider social changes are requiring universities to examine their purpose and change their practices.

At a global scale, the unit will examine how higher education is developing in different parts of the world in response to the dynamics of globalisation, internationalisation and debates around post-coloniality, whilst also critiquing and problematising these concepts. The unit will explore the current landscape of policies and debates relating to higher education across a range of national contexts. This includes, key dynamics of changing forms of governance and regulation of higher education, commodification and marketization of higher education, forms of relations between higher education and civic society, changing forms of knowledge production, access and equity to higher education, the changing roles and identities of students and academics within the university. The imaginary of the university of the future and potential scenarios will also be explored. Students will be encouraged to critically reflect upon their own experiences and to consider alternative ideas of the university and possible scenarios for future systems of higher education.

Unit Aims

  • To provide students with an understanding of how economic, political, technological and social dynamics have interacted to create different university and higher education structures over time and across different national contexts;
  • To introduce a range of theoretical resources for analyzing the dynamics of change affecting higher education and to critically engage with key debates over the purpose and function of higher education;
  • To consider a range of techniques for critically reflecting upon how socio-political and technological dynamics might interact to influence the idea of the university in future and its wider public role;
  • To enable participants to share experiences and consider debates and key themes in relation to their own context and interests.

Intended learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of how economic, political, and social dynamics interact to create different university and higher education structures over time and across different national contexts;
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of a range of perspective and theoretical resources for analyzing the dynamics of change affecting higher education and critically engage with key debates over the purpose and function of higher education;
  3. Consider how socio-political as well as technological dynamics interact to influence the idea of the university as it was in the past and in the future alongside its wider public role;
  4. Critically reflect on key themes and debates on higher education within the unit in relation to their own context and interests and professional experience (where possible) and be able to develop coherent and reasoned arguments in their presentation of ideas.

Teaching details

The unit includes a variety of teaching and learning methods, including: tutor-led input and discussion and group activities, including student led presentations or discussion based on a critical reflection on a key supplementary reading. Students will also take part in a weekly debate and be encouraged to take part in writing an online blog.

Assessment Details

Summative assessment will comprise of a 4,000 words essay. Formative assessment will comprise of engagement in class blog and small group tutorials.

Students will take part in a class blog, which will also enable support and formative feedback from peers and tutors through online discussion. This will involve engaging critically with key debates and key themes in the unit (ILO 1 and ILO 4).

The summative assessment will take the form of an essay of 4,000 words (100%) and formative feedback will be provided through small group tutorials with tutor and peer feedback given on assignment outlines. This assignment will enable a critical engagement on a key area of interest relating to change within higher education and the socio-political dynamics influencing this as well as reflection on their own perspectives on higher education (ILO 1, ILO 2, ILO 3 and ILO 4).

Reading and References

Brooks, R. (2017) (edited) Student Politics and Protest: international perspectives, Abingdon, Routledge.

Brown, R. & Carasso, H. (2013) Everything for Sale? The Marketization of UK Higher Education, London, Routledge.

Gale, T., & Hodge, S. (2014). Just imaginary: Delimiting social inclusion in higher education. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 35(5), 688–709.

Nelson, A.R & Wei, I. (2012) The global university: past, present, and future perspectives, New York, Palgrave Macmillan.

O’Byrne, D. & Bond, C. (2014) Back to the future: the idea of a university revisited, Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 36, 6: 571-584.

Shahjahan, R. A. (2016) International organizations (IOs), epistemic tools of influence, and the colonial geopolitics of knowledge production in higher education policy, Journal of Education Policy, 31, 6: 694-710.

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