The idea of Higher Education
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The idea of Higher Education

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The idea of Higher Education

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The idea of Higher Education

Farid PanjwaniUCL Institute of EducationUniversity College London


What is Ala in Ala Taleem?

Doctor in PhilosophyLiberal Education – the idea of Adab

Criticisms and response

A practical consideration


Research and healthy scepticism

Not just a western ideaA universal phenomenon


UK Higher Education:From 1979

to 2011777,800 students, including 58,900 (7.6%) from outside the EC;

Participation rate was 12.4%;

48 universities, 30 polytechnics and 61colleges;

Most of the money for teaching and research came from government grants;

Nominal fee and almost no student debt;


was a


Grant/student 100%.

2.5 million students, 14.5% from outside EC (overall increase of 320%);


rate was 47


115 universities out of 165 HE


Increasing amount is generated from external sources;

Student fees of up to £

9000; most students are likely to

be in substantial debts;

Research is now


Grant/student around 75%.


Marketization of Higher Education

“It seems clear that UK higher education in 2012 is in nearly every respect much more efficient, service oriented and entrepreneurial than it was in 1979, and this must in at least in part be due to the market-driven policies of successive governments.”


Brown, 2013,

Everything for Sale: The Marketization of UK Higher Education

’, p.129)


Findings from research on faculty perception of educational quality

Five out of six said that there was a general adverse effect on



% agreed that institutions admitted students who are not capable of benefitting from



% reported that they felt obliged to pass a student whose performance did not really merit pass;


% agreed that the need to maintain acceptable retention had led to lower failure rates on courses ‘


Baty, 2004 & Gill, 2008;

Times Higher Education ]


“The fact is that rankings, prestige and investments are strongly weighted towards our research endeavours. This carries over in some measure to the training of postgraduate students, but makes it ever harder for research-intensive universities to give serious attention to the education of undergraduates. “

[ Former Vice Chancellor,

Cambridge, quoted in Richard, 2006, p.1]


We are concerned that Higher Education Institutions (HEI) may fail to successfully guide students to ambitious intellectual or even civic dreams and may instead be content to pander to fantasies of a leisure-based ‘good life’ whilst actually preparing students for more mundane career outcomes”


(Hayward et al, 2011



degree will make all


dreams come true: higher education as the management of consumer desires”



“Inequality among national higher education systems as well as within countries has increased in the past several decades. The wealth of nations and universities plays a key role in determining the quality and centrality of a university or academic system. This places developing countries at a significant disadvantage, and puts special strains on most academic systems facing the dilemma of expanded enrollment and the need to support

top quality research universities.”

Altbach et al (2009),

Trends in Global Higher Education: Tracking an Academic Revolution.



Casualization of teaching staff illness in higher education



Towards a new social imagination


Civilization hangs suspended, from generation to generation, by the gossamer strand of memory


the guardians of human knowledge

stumble only

one time, in their fall collapses the

whole edifice

of knowledge and understanding.”

Rabi Jacob

Neusner (d.2016)