CGHE Seminar 112

Conflicting logics of unbundled higher education in an unequal society

  • Thursday, 13 Jun 2019 12:30 - 14:00
  • Elvin Hall, UCL Institute of Education

The recent rise of MOOCs and online degrees offered via online platforms has occurred in the climate of austerity for public higher education. Public universities in the Global North and South face similar challenges to expand their educational reach, while advancing their brand in international rankings and raising fees and third-stream income in order to secure additional revenue. Online forms of unbundled provision offering smaller curricular units at lower prices have promised to disrupt this system by enabling learning flexibility and access to people everywhere in the world. Yet, do these forms of provision manage to challenge existing hierarchies of value in higher education and the dominant market logic that puts pressure on higher education and public institutions at large in the neoliberal era? Based on fieldwork in South Africa in 2017 within the Unbundled University project including over thirty in-depth qualitative interviews, this presentation explores the perceptions of higher education university leaders and of senior managers of online program management companies. Analysing their considerations and decisions around unbundled provision, Mariya will discuss two conflicting logics of higher education that actors in structurally different positions and in historically divergent institutions use to justify their involvement in public-private partnerships: the logic of capital and the logic of social pertinence.

Listen to the seminar here:

Mariya Ivancheva

Mariya Ivancheva

Dr Mariya Ivancheva is a Lecturer in Higher Education Studies at the University of Liverpool. She has done research on higher education in different parts of the world e.g. the Bolivarian higher education reform in Venezuela (2007-2013), the casualisation of labour in post-2008 universities in Ireland (2014-2017), and the impact of digital technologies on inequalities in universities in South Africa and the UK (2017-2018). She has published widely on the history and legacy of social(ist) movements, and the role of universities and academics in processes of social change.

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