ERG SES D 01, Higher Education
A new phase of higher education started since the 1990s in which a remarkable transformation took place in the higher education system in Bangladesh, largely based on market-driven economic forces. The move started with enacting the Private University Act 1992 on August 9, 1992 (Ministry of Education, 1992). Alongside this change that established the private university system, the state also initiated a number of reform programmes in this sector under the supervision and the guidance of the International Financial Institutions (IFIs). One of these reform policies is the introduction of a "Strategic Plan for Higher Education in Bangladesh: 2006-2026" (SPHE) (University Grants Commission, 2006) with the support of the World Bank. The state identified this plan as a ground-breaking initiative to address the current problems and issues of higher education and it recommended a set of prescriptions to the problems (World Bank, 2009). The preliminary review shows that the objective of this policy is to connect higher education with market-driven economic forces (Kabir, 2010).
Neoliberal policies of the IFIs have played a crucial role in reshaping socio-economic policies in developing countries since the 1980s (Steger & Roy 2010, p. 11). From the 1980s, it has been a worldwide trend for universities to adopt commercial models of knowledge, skills, curriculum, finance, accounting, and management organisation (Levidow, 2007). However, the spread of the neoliberal policy model across the globe is connected with policy borrowing argues Steiner-Khamis (2004, 2006). The emergence of globalisation provides the impetus to borrow policy from one context to another in the name of ‘best practice’ (Turbin, 2001). More importantly, polices are influenced by the imperatives of the global economy (Rizvi & Lingard, 2010). Consequently, in many ways, today’s policies are encircled by the “well-travelled” reforms, mostly known as the quasi-market, neoliberal, or hyperliberal reforms (Steiner-Khamsi & Quist, 2000). Thus, the analysis of the policy borrowing model is treated as a useful tool to explain the politics of adopting neoliberal policy in education sector from one context to another (Steiner-Khamsi, 2012). At the same way, the policy study model also helps to critically explore the processes of translation and recontexualisation of a policy in local settings (Ball, 1998).
However, the literature that has come out from two directions – comparative education and policy study – have been concerned with the transatlantic, transpacific and inter-European policy transfer (Steiner-Khamsi, 2006; Whitty, 2012). Little attention has been paid to explain the micro-politics of policy borrowing in the developing countries’ perspective like Bangladesh. I consider the global stage of neoliberal globalisation as macro stage, but how the varieties of local interests formulate neoliberal ideas in higher education policies at the state level in Bangladesh needs to be examined. This paper explores how policy-makers in Bangladesh deal with neoliberal ideas and shape them either by surrendering and taking them as complete panacea or by re-designing them keeping in mind the local contexts.
In particular, this paper broadly understands the processes in adopting the neoliberal ideas and thinking in the higher education policies at the state level in Bangladesh. In responding to this broad objective this paper develops three specific questions: what strategies are being used by policy makers to reshape and recontextualise neoliberal agenda in the higher education sector? How are the varieties of interest group contributing to the formation of the neoliberal agenda in higher education policies? Why neoliberal ideas and thinking have been incorporated in the higher education policies in Bangladesh?
Ball, S. J. (1998). Big Policies/Small World: An Introduction to International Perspectives in Education Policy. Comparative Education, 34 (2): 119-130. http://www.jstor.org/stable/3099796 . Kabir, A. H. (2010). Neoliberal policy in the higher education sector in Bangladesh: Autonomy of public universities and the role of the state. Policy Futures in Education, 8(6): 619-631. doi:10.2304/pfie.2010.8.6.619 Levidow, L. (2007). Marketizing higher Education: Neoliberal strategies and counterstrategies. In E. W. Ross, & R. Gibson (Eds.), Neoliberalism and education reform (pp. 237-255). New Jersey: Hampton press Inc. Merriam, S. B. (1988). Case study research in education. San Francisco & London: Jossey-Boss Publications. Ministry of Education. (1992). Private University Act 1992. Dhaka: Ministry of Education. Rizvi, F. & Lingard, B. (2010). Globalizing education policy. New York, NY : Routledge Stake, R. E. (2008). Qualitative case study. In N. K. Denzin, & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), Strategy of qualitative case study (pp. 119-149). London: Sage Publications. Steger, M. B., & Roy, R. K. (2010). Neoliberalism: A very short introduction. New York: Oxford University Press. Steiner-Khamsi, G. & Quist, H. O. (2000). The politics of educational borrowing: reopening the case of Achimota in British Ghana. Comparative Education Review, 44(3): 272-299. URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/447615 Steiner-Khamsi, G. (2004). Globalization in education: real or imagined. In G. Steiner-Khamsi (Ed.), The global politics of educational borrowing and lending (1-28). New York & London: Teachers College Press. Steiner-Khamsi, G. (2006). The economics of policy borrowing and lending: a study of late adopters. Oxford Review of Education, 32(5): 665-678. URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4618688 Steiner-Khamsi, G. (2012). Understanding policy borrowing and lending: Building comparative policy studies. In G. Steiner-Khamsi, & F. Waldow (Eds.), World yearbook of education 2012: Policy borrowing and lending in education (3-17). London: Routledge. Turbin, J. (2001). Policy borrowing: Lessons from European attempts to transfer training practices. International Journal of Training and Development, 5(2): 96-111 University Grants Commission (2006). Strategic plan for higher education in Bangladesh: 2006-2026. Dhaka: UGC. Whitty, G. (2012). Policy tourism and policy borrowing in education: A trans-Atlantic case study. In G. Steiner-Khamsi, & F. Waldow (Eds.), World yearbook of education 2012: Policy borrowing and lending in education (354-370). London: Routledge. World Bank. (2009). Higher education quality enhancement project. Retrieved September 24, 2010, from http://web.worldbank.org/external/projects/main?pagePK=64312881&piPK=64302848&theSitePK=40941&Projectid=P106216
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
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Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
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