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UEL High Impact HE Public Lecture

"Has Higher Education lost its Mojo? Mass systems and regulated markets"

1 April 2020, 5-6.30pm.

University of East London, University Square Stratford, 1 Salway Road, London E15 1NF

All Welcome! 

Professor Terri Kim, Professor of Comparative Higher Education; Leader of Higher Education Research Group (HERG)

Welcome Addresses by
Professor Amanda Broderick, VC&P and Professor Verity Brown, PVC Impact and Innovation

Guest Speaker: Professor Sir Peter Scott

“Has Higher Education lost its Mojo? Mass systems and regulated markets”

Higher education in 2020 finds itself suddenly at the centre of a perfect storm. The mass expansion of universities, begun as an emancipatory project in the 20th century, appears from the perspective of 21st century to have become just another tool of social stratification. Their core values of critical enquiry, cultivated rationality and professional and scientific expertise are assailed by ‘fake news’ populists. Students have never been promised so much in terms of job-oriented courses and graduate employment (and charged - in England - high fees), only for an economy enamoured by disruptive technologies and still scarred by austerity to deliver so little in terms of secure careers. Institutional autonomy and ‘market’ freedom alike have been severely compromised by intrusive regulation and ideological intolerance. The corporate university has eroded academic government - and the trust of many of its staff. To cap it all, in Brexit Britain higher education has few friends in (political and media) high places and, supposedly, is regarded with indifference by wide section of the population it actually or potentially benefits.

Professor Scott said, "My presentation will discuss whether this - dystopian - picture is fair or accurate; and the various and sometimes contradictory causes of these discontents. I will argue that, for higher education to recover its mojo, the 21st-century university must be reenergised by reasserting traditional values (liberal - and civic - education, scientific excellence, scholarly standards and collegial government) but also espousing radical ambitions - academic democracy, state-of-the-moment delivery, community empowerment, social activism and in particular an ambition to roll back, and eventually close, the access frontier."


Peter Scott is emeritus Professor of Higher Education Studies at the UCL Institute of Education and Commissioner for Fair Access in Scotland. He was formerly Vice-Chancellor of Kingston University, a member of the board of the (former) Higher Education Funding Council for England, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Professor at the University of Leeds, and Editor of ‘The Times Higher Education [Supplement]’. 

Wednesday, 1 April 2020


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