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Neoliberalism - Marketisation and Higher Education

27 Feb 2018

Speaker: Professor Roger Brown

Location: University of West London, St Mary’s Road, Ealing

Time: Registration 6pm. Lecture commences 6.30pm

Free Admission: All welcome.


The lecture will be followed by a reception.


 Abstract: For the past ten years Professor Brown has been working on the marketisation of higher education (both internationally and in Britain), economic inequality and, most recently, Neoliberalism. This lecture will tease out the various connections between them. In particular it will show how, through marketisation, Neoliberalism is having the same effects on higher education as it is on society and the economy more generally. The lecture is intended to bring together and round off Roger Brown’s work on these topics - and his work in higher education more generally - since he stepped down from his position of Vice-Chancellor at Southampton Solent 10 years ago.


The lecture will therefore:

➊ Define Neoliberalism and marketisation

âž‹ Look at the impacts of Neoliberalism both generally and, through marketisation, on higher education

➌ Consider how universities and colleges should seek to respond.


So I shall be asking:

➊ What do the terms ‘Neoliberalism’ and ‘marketisation’ mean both generally and in relation to higher education?

âž‹ What are their effects?

➌ What do we about it?


My argument will be that:

➊ Marketisation is the link between Neoliberalism and higher education: marketisation is how Neoliberalism reshapes higher education as it does nearly every other social activity.

âž‹ Marketisation has broadly the same (and almost entirely negative) impact on higher education as

Neoliberalism has on society and the economy generally, in particular by weakening collective values and ways of working in favour of individual agency (‘possessive individualism’), supposedly in the cause of greater societal welfare and prosperity.

➌ The response to marketization in higher education has to follow and be in line with our response to Neoliberalism generally, but higher education has a particular role and if higher education is lost, or at least does not resist, then that will make the wider struggle even harder

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