The impact of marketisation on undergraduate curriculum in an English university: a Bernsteinian analysis

Brady, N and Bates, A (2014) 'The impact of marketisation on undergraduate curriculum in an English university: a Bernsteinian analysis.' Pedagogická Orientace = Journal Of The Czech Pedagogical Society, 24 (6). pp. 903-918. ISSN 1211-4669

Official URL: https://doi.org/10.5817/PedOr2014-6-903

Abstract

The context for this paper is the marketisation of higher education in England since the 1990s which has established the core mission of the university as primarily economic. Successive government policies have framed this mission as the generation of ‘useful’ knowledge and the supply of skilled graduates required by companies to compete in the ‘global economic race’. Higher education in the UK is now driven by a dynamic in which universities are required to compete for students in a quasi-market characterised by growing stratification and reduced state funding. This paper examines the impact of these changes in a case study of undergraduate curriculum in a university Business School. The data were collected through semi-structured interviews with academics who taught on undergraduate programmes together with a documentary analysis of texts such as module specifications, programme review documents and Business School strategy. Bernstein’s pedagogic theory and in particular his concept of recontextualisation was utilised to interpret the findings. It was found that market imperatives relating to the maximisation of income generation dominate the discourse in the Business School. As a result, pedagogical relations have become recontextualised as a form of product management accompanied by a range of unintended consequences.

Item Type: Article
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Keywords: curriculum, pedagogy, marketisation, discourse, Bernstein
Divisions: School of Education
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.5817/PedOr2014-6-903
Date Deposited: 11 Aug 2021 13:50
Last Modified: 15 Aug 2021 09:57
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