Diaries of Doom, Gloom and Anger

Share survey records scholars’ shocked reaction to Browne and the CSR. Rebecca Attwood reports

“I burn with indignation”, “a grave error” and “incredibly depressing”: such are the responses of rank-and-file academics to the Browne Review and impending funding cuts.

Lecturers are keeping monthly diaries about their working lives as part of Share, a research project led by the University of Kent.

In an entry on 15 October, the week in which Lord Browne of Madingley published his report, one diarist writes: “Here, writ large, is the business model of higher education…I am normally an equable sort of person, but this is too much.”

Another reports reading about Lord Browne’s recommendations in Times Higher Education and concluding that “it seems to mean the almost total privatisation of higher education – depressing stuff”.

On the outcome of the Comprehensive Spending Review, one participant says that they “can’t begin to comprehend” the “enormous cut in government spending on HE teaching”.

Read earlier entry, and full current entry.

By Second World War Posters

Mass Communications Academic, @MMUBS. British Home Front Propaganda posters as researched for a PhD completed 2004. In 1997, unwittingly wrote the first history of the Keep Calm and Carry On poster, which she now follows with interest.

One reply on “Diaries of Doom, Gloom and Anger”

The problem with the Brown reforms, beyond the obvious, is that changing the nature of the educational beast is not as simple as changing its name.
The whole physical, conceptual and semantic structure of the the higher education system has, in this country, been structured on an abcommerical model, where the economy is a reputation economy designed to promote debate and research, not research and exploitation.
Such changes cannot be made quickly, as it is not simply a matter of slotting in commercial funding over government. The timescales for commercial results from the H.E. research model are too long for commercial application. If we had the historical patronage of alumni that the U.S. model has, this might bridge the gap between the commercial requirement and the academic actuality: but we don’t. The British rich don’t like education and certainly don’t tend to patronise it.
It’s all a bit depressing really. Time to protest I think.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.