22 SES 05 E, Governance in Higher Education
Our research examines how academics make sense of their teaching work in the middle of the changes of the academy. While a vast literature exists on academic work and academics more generally, research on teaching work continues to lag some way behind.
University education and teaching are nowadays tightly positioned in the transnational political agenda; the demands to the future highly educated employee and citizen are numerous. The Bologna process reflects this clearly: Higher education should give students the advanced knowledge, skills and competences they need in a changing labour market and empower them to become active and responsible citizens capable of promoting the cultural and social development of our societies. At the same time in the environment of hard competition of the resources, universities have to profile themselves ever clearly and they have to focus on their operations more strategically than before.
The nature of university teaching will change if teaching and learning will reflect the ideology of a market-oriented and utilitarian perspective. The perception of higher education as a commodity changes conceptions of organizational culture, primary tasks of universities and the ways how education should be offered. (Blackmore 2009, pp. 866–867.) So, it could be argued that teaching work has “politicized” in a new extend along with adopting the new technology of governance such as audits, evaluation and quality assurance (ENQVA), standardization (ECTS) and comparisons (cf. AHELO).
Joëlle Fanghanel uses the terms “managed academic” or “managed professionals” to capture the impact of the forms of management put in place in universities over the past three decades to manage performance and practices. Specific instantiations of managerialism have generated cultures and practices in the university that are underpinned by market-like principles, based on measurement, control and display of performance. This has resulted in academics getting a strong sense of being managed. (Fanghanel 2012, pp. 15–16).
Neoliberal transnational higher education policy doctrines have been systematically followed in Finland, too. Since the 1960s Finnish university policy has taken steps from the Social Democratic Nordic 'state development university doctrine', through more liberal 'managing by results and competition doctrine' to the 'neoliberal NPM doctrine'. The new University Act in 2009 was a culmination of the new higher policy guided by ‘neoliberal NPM doctrine’. The ‘managing by results and competition' doctrine and ‘neoliberal NPM doctrine’ have entailed market-orientation, expectations of immediate economic gain and assessment and evaluation mechanisms and other managerial practices. (Rinne, Jauhiainen & Kankaanpää 2014.)
Taking a narrative approach our research investigates how academics in the Finnish context make sense of their teaching work as managed in the middle of the changes of the academy. We ask what kinds of possibilities, resources, limits and problems the managerial principles and practices set at teaching. We focus on the diversity of storylines reflecting the ways being a teacher in the academy. The theoretical framework of the research draws from sociocultural research traditions. We are looking at individuals in the political, cultural and institutional – that is sociocultural – contexts. This means that teaching as academic work is constructed and defined at the same from ´inside` and ´outside´.
Ball, S. J. (2012) Global education. New policy networks and the neo-liberal imaginary, London: Routledge. Beach, D. 2013. Changing higher education: converging policy-packages and experiences of changing academic work in Sweden. Journal of Education Policy 28 (4), 517–533. Becher, T. & Trowler, P. R. 2001. Academic tribes and territories (2nd ed.). New York: Open University Press. Blackmore, J. (2009) Academics pedagogies, quality logics and performative universities: evaluating teaching and what students want. Studies in Higher Education 34 (8), 857–872. Cheng, Ming. 2010. Audit cultures and quality assurance mechanisms in England: a study of their perceived impact on the work of academics. Teaching in Higher Education 15 83), 259–271. Deem, R. 2006. Conceptions of Contemporary European Universities: to do research or not to do research? European Journal of Education 41 (2), 281–304. Fanghanel, J. (2012). Being an Academic. New York and London: Routledge. Jauhiainen, A(rto). Jauhiainen, A(nnukka). & Laiho, A, 2009. The Dilemmas of the ”efficiency university” and the everyday life of university teachers. Teaching in Higher Education Journal 14 (4), 417–428. Lea, S.J: & Callaghan, L. 2012. Teaching in an Age of ’supercomplexity’. Lecturer Concepts in Context. Teoksessa P. Trowler, M. Saunders & V. Bamber. Tribes and Territories in the 21st Century. Rethinking the significance of disciplines in higher education. London and New York: Routledge, 208–219. Leisyte, L., Enders, J. & de Boor, H. (2009). The balance between teaching and research in Dutch and English universities in the context of university governance reforms. Higher Education, 58 (5), 619–635. Murtonen, M. & Lappalainen, M. 2013. Pedagogical education for university teachers in Finland. Revista de Docencia Universitaria 11 (3) Octubre-Diciembre, 65–72. Rinne, R., Jauhiainen, A., Simola, H., Lehto, R., Jauhiainen, A. & Laiho, A. 2012. Valta, uusi yliopistopolitiikka ja yliopistotyö Suomessa. Managerialistinen hallintapolitiikka yliopistolaisten kokemana. Suomen kasvatustieteellinen seura. Kasvatusalan tutkimuksia 58. Rinne, R., Jauhiainen, A. & Kankaanpää, J. 2014. Surviving in the ruins of the university? - Lost autonomy and collapsed dreams in the Finnish transition of university policies. Nordic Studies in Education, Vol. 34, pp. 213–232. Teelken, C. 2012. Compliance or pragmatism: how do academics deal with managerialism in higher education? A comparative study in three countries, Studies in Higher Education, 37:3, 271–290. Ylijoki, O.-H. & Ursin, J. 2013. The construction of academic identity in the changes of Finnish higher education. Studies in Higher Education 38 (8), 1135–1149.
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.