Now showing 1 - 6 of 6
  • Publication
    The Bolivarian University of Venezuela: A radical alternative in the global field of higher education?
    (Berghahn Journals, 2013)
    This article discusses paradoxes in the emergent global field of higher education as refl ected 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 semi-peripheral 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.
      879
  • Publication
    The age of precarity and the new challenges to the academic profession
    (Babes Bolyai, 2015-04)
    Neoliberalism has had destructive effects on the academic profession. While full-time academic employment has always been a privilege for a few, the academic  precariat has risen as a reserve army of workers with ever shorter, lower paid, hyper-flexible contracts and ever more temporally fragmented and geographically displaced hyper-mobile lives. Under the pressure to ¿publish or perish¿ a growing stratification between research and teaching has emerged. It has made academic work more susceptible to market pressures, and less - to public accountability. Focusing on a recent call for 'casual researchers' issued by Oxford University the  paper indicates how the growing competition for scarcer resources has made academics finally aware of the inequalities engendered by neoliberal capitalism, but still incapable to mobilize.
      1318
  • Publication
    Precarity, gender and care in the neoliberal academy
    This article examines the rise in precarious academic employment in Ireland as an outcome of the higher education restructuring following OECD (Organisation for Economic Co‐operation and Development), government initiatives and post‐crisis austerity. Presenting the narratives of academic women at different career stages, we claim that a focus on care sheds new light on the debate on precarity. A more complete understanding of precarity should take account not only of the contractual security but also affective relational security in the lives of employees. The intersectionality of paid work and care work lives was a dominant theme in our interviews among academic women. In a globalized academic market, premised on the care‐free masculinized ideals of competitive performance, 24/7 work and geographical mobility, women who opt out of these norms, suffer labour‐led contractual precarity and are over‐represented in part‐time and fixed‐term positions. Women who comply with these organizational commands need to peripheralize their relational lives and experience care‐led affective precarity.
      766Scopus© Citations 131
  • Publication
    The Care Ceiling in Higher Education
    This study examines the impact of managerialist policies on care relations in higher education. It is based on a study of ten higher education institutions in Ireland. The paper shows that a care-free worker model is ingrained in systems of performance appraisal, especially for academics in universities, and increasingly in the Institutes of Technology, although it also impacts on support staff in other professions and occupations. It assumes a life of boundary-less working hours and unhindered mobility. The market-informed tools of performance appraisal, especially audits and metrics, cannot measure essential care work because care is a process and disposition, not a product. Because it is not countable it becomes invisible as do the people who do it. The managerial ideology of ‘work–life balance’ merely operates as a mask that conceals how over-working is normalised. There is no legitimate language to name over-working for the structural problem that it is (Misra et al. 2012). When colleges disregard care commitments outside of work, and even within it, these are then repackaged and fed back to women/carers as personal problems and failures. The idealised care-free worker model operates as a care ceiling over women particularly; it is taken as given, even natural.
      380Scopus© Citations 22
  • Publication
    Academic freedom and the commercialisation of the universities: a critical ethical analysis
    (Inter Research, 2015-10-01) ;
    This paper explores the cultural and organisational dimensions of academic life that lay the foundations for academic freedom. We briefly review the relationship between university autonomy and academic freedom, the relationship between ethics and freedom and the impact of increased commercialisation on scholarly independence, particularly how the increasing casualization of employment limits the freedom of academics to teach critically and publish freely. We examine the geopolitics of knowledge and how the hegemony of Western thinking frames dominant epistemologies and imposes constraints on academic freedom. We also explore the ways in which Cartesian rationalism underpins contemporary understanding of what constitutes valid knowledge, and how this can and does act as a constraint in what we come to know and study, not least in terms of values but also in terms of how caring (affective) relations impact research and teaching. Our paper highlights the silenced doxa in the organisation of the academy, including the impact of care-lessness on women and primary care givers in particular. We examine the social class biases in how higher education is organised, and how class exclusions are themselves constraints on being an academic or a student in a university. Finally, the paper illustrates the importance of distinguishing between the institutional autonomy of the university, the personal and professional freedoms of individual academics, and each of these from subject autonomy, namely the freedom of scholars to create and maintain new disciplinary fields, especially fields of scholarship that are critical and challenging of prevailing academic orthodoxies.
    Scopus© Citations 46  799
  • Publication
    Academic freedom and the commercialisation of universities: a critical ethical analysis
    (Berghahn Journals, 2015-10-01) ;
    This paper explores the cultural and organisational dimensions of academic life that lay the foundations for academic freedom. We briefly review the relationship between university autonomy and academic freedom, the relationship between ethics and freedom and the impact of increased commercialisation on scholarly independence, particularly how the increasing casualization of employment limits the freedom of academics to teach critically and publish freely. We examine the geopolitics of knowledge and how the hegemony of Western thinking frames dominant epistemologies and imposes constraints on academic freedom. We also explore the ways in which Cartesian rationalism underpins contemporary understanding of what constitutes valid knowledge, and how this can and does act as a constraint in what we come to know and study, not least in terms of values but also in terms of how caring (affective) relations impact research and teaching. Our paper highlights the silenced doxa in the organisation of the academy, including the impact of care-lessness on women and primary care givers in particular. We examine the social class biases in how higher education is organised, and how class exclusions are themselves constraints on being an academic or a student in a university. Finally, the paper illustrates the importance of distinguishing between the institutional autonomy of the university, the personal and professional freedoms of individual academics, and each of these from subject autonomy, namely the freedom of scholars to create and maintain new disciplinary fields, especially fields of scholarship that are critical and challenging of prevailing academic orthodoxies.
      834Scopus© Citations 46