The Governance of British Higher Education

The Struggle for Policy Control

Authors: Tapper, Ted

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About this book

Higher education in Britain has changed out of all recognition in recent years. We have moved from an elite to a mass system with more students, broader and more complex curricula, huge variations in what it means to be a student, and with institutions forging different relations to both the wider society and to the state. Indeed, it is no exaggeration to say that the very understanding of what is meant by higher education has little in common with how it was interpreted but twenty years ago.

The purpose of this book is to place these radical changes within the context of the governance of British higher education. How has the system of governance changed? Do British higher education institutions still exercise autonomous control over their development as was widely believed to be the case but a few years ago? These questions are pursued through a three-pronged strategy. Firstly, to examine the institutional changes which have occurred since the 1988 Education Reform and the emergence of the funding council model of governance. In particular, we want to know how the various institutional actors – the higher education institutions, the government departments and the funding councils – interact with one another to shape policy outcomes. Secondly, to explore the political context within which these institutional actors have to work. This means examining the role of the political parties, policy networks and the parliamentary forces all of which have a major stake in influencing the direction of higher education policy. This section of the book incorporates the move towards political devolution in the United Kingdom and examines what is different, and what is similar, about higher education policy-making in Scotland and Wales in comparison to England. Thirdly, the book observes the process of policy-making and change in relation to critical issues: the funding of higher education, the research assessment exercises, the quality assurance regime, and the widening participation agenda. In effect it examines policy-making in action.

The conclusion looks backwards and forwards. The main themes are highlighted and then two important questions are raised. How stable is the current model of governance? The answer to this question requires an analysis of the pressures for change and of the alternative models that could emerge in its place. The British system of higher education needs to be located within its European, even global, context. Is the system of governance capable of responding positively to the challenges that are likely to emerge given that higher education is now an international commodity?

Reviews

From the reviews:

"This volume on policy control in UK higher education will interest scholars, higher education executives and policy analysts from many countries. … Thus, this important volume by Ted Tapper adds to a considerable amount of literature on British higher education policy and management by a line of distinguished scholars … . Tapper, a long-time student of British higher education, sets out to place the recent transformation of British higher education within the context of the key issue of governance." (Grant Harman, Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, Vol. 30 (2), 2008)

"Higher education in Britain … has been subject to rather a lot of policy in the last few decades. Ted Tapper has long been a commentator on this … . This book attempts to update the earlier one ‘by now inevitably dated’ … . But it covers the ground comprehensively, and it is a pleasure to have a text which records evidence in detail … . Tapper divides the book into three parts … . Tapper’s analysis offers some useful insights … ." (John Pratt, Higher Education Review, Vol. 40 (3), 2008)


Table of contents (2 chapters)

  • From the UGC and NAB to the Funding Council Model of Governance

    Ted Tapper

    Pages 27-47

  • The Politics of Quality Assurance

    Ted Tapper

    Pages 167-186

Buy this book

eBook $189.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-4020-5553-9
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $239.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-4020-5552-2
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $239.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-90-481-7391-4
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The Governance of British Higher Education
Book Subtitle
The Struggle for Policy Control
Authors
Copyright
2007
Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright Holder
Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
eBook ISBN
978-1-4020-5553-9
DOI
10.1007/978-1-4020-5553-9
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-4020-5552-2
Softcover ISBN
978-90-481-7391-4
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
VII, 257
Topics