Wednesday, November 09, 2011

The Politicisation of Higher Education - Question Time

"The Politicisation of Higher Education" -- The House of Commons, Westminster
5 December 2011 -- 1-5pm

What’s the future for the finest collection of universities in the world? How did we get to a stage where so many of them are now unsure of even their short-term future? Is higher education in England and Wales heading for meltdown? Or is there a more positive alternative to the government’s policies? There will be two 90 minute ‘Question Time’ sessions:

Session 1 -- ‘The Changing Nature of Higher Education’
Session 2 -- ‘Is There Really No Alternative?’

Our specially invited panellists, including leading politicians, journalists and academics, will speak briefly before questions from the floor. The event is hosted by the Media and Politics Group, a Political Studies Association-funded group.

Speakers include:

Adrian Bailey MP
Laurie Penny, New Statesman
Thom Brooks, Newcastle University
Natalie Fenton, HE White Paper Critic; Open Democracy
Des Freedman, Manifesto For Resistance
Maeve McKeown, UCL occupation student
Richard Scullion, author: Marketisation of Higher Education
John Holmwood, Campaign for Public University

Attendance is free but registration is needed. Please register at


Ferdinand von Prondzynski said...

This is a really interesting topic, but it won't be a debate, as only one point of view will be expressed. I am in sympathy with that point of view, but it's not effective just to have rhetoric exchanged amongst those already persuaded that English HE government policy is misguided. The other side needs to be put as well.

The Brooks Blog said...

I agree that the panel could be more representative. (While I was invited, I am not organizing this event.) One big problem is that there were allegedly quite a few declined invitations. I understand the AHRC CEO and Universities Minister were invited -amongst many others- who declined. So it might be that only one side thinks there is anything to talk about -- or perhaps only one side willing to talk about it at all.

Nevertheless, many on the panel may have their criticisms - true about any policy - but I strongly suspect there will be wide disagreement on what is problematic about the HE White Paper and what should be done about it. Moreover, I expect there will be plenty at the event - to be held at the House of Commons - who will engage from a wide variety of viewpoints. Or so I hope.