Professor Karín Lesnik-Oberstein writes:
Universities at the moment are subject to a constant stream of changes in policy, strategy, management and organisation, as anyone who has been hearing about the recent government budget in relation to Higher Education knows. There is an increasing concern amongst many University managers, academic staff, support staff and students that the direction of these changes towards re-shaping Universities increasingly along the lines of certain models of commercialisation and marketisation is leading to damaging pressures on the quality of University teaching and research.
I recently wrote an open letter about such concerns in the Guardian, and with a group of colleagues from ‘The Critical Institute’ coordinated the gathering of the signatures of 120 UK University professors for the letter. This letter was published in the Guardian:
http://www.theguardian.com/education/2015/jul/06/let-uk-universities-do-what-they-do-best-teaching-and-research and within 48 hours had been ‘shared’ almost 3500 times (and up until now almost 4500 times).
I was then invited to write a blog on responses to the open letter for the Times Higher Education website: https://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/blog/marketisation-wrecking-teaching-and-research
and this blog was the most read item on the THES website over that weekend.
My colleagues at The Critical Institute and I will be continuing our actions on behalf of teaching and research at Universities and have recently been co-signatories to a letter presented to the Chair of UNESCO on related concerns about academic teaching and research world-wide, which can be read and signed at: https://www.change.org/p/teachers-researchers-students-and-families-teachers-researchers-students-and-families-sign-letter-letter-addressed-to-unesco-chair-irina-bokova-in-order-to-express-our-collective-concern-about-the-pre-eminence-of-economic-and-reductionist-views-of-ed?just_created=true