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For all of us grappling with what's happening in UK HE – gasping to keep our heads above water & struggling to understand all the actors & forces at work – I so so recommend @amcgettigan's "The Great University Gamble: Money, markets & the future of HE" plutobooks.com/9780745332932/… 1/
”The Great University Gamble” is centred around privatisation of HE — the “plan & the gamble” — as McGettigan frames it — & published in 2013. It covers creation of HE market; deregulation & deprofessionalization; university financing (incl bonds); private equity; governance 2/ Screenshot of contents page of book
Re-reading it post #USSstrike, I am struck by how McGettigan identifies the cleavage (evident from at least 2010 and possibly well before) btw #UUK/mission groups & the interests of academics, students, & public in general 3/
McGettigan argues/predicts that "A small elite of institutions will benefit. As they are allowed to expand ... they will be better positioned to monopolise resources. It is the fate of the remaining majority of UK universities to be the stakes in this game." (p.6) 4/
Also prescient (& diagnostic) is McGettigan’s assessment in 2013 of the likely impact of the great university gamble on academics, on the erosion of collegiality — and crucially, of how too many of us academics have “cede[d] difficult chores to bureaucrats” 5/
There's no entry on #pensions in McGettigan's index (& he's explicit he's barely addressed impact on staff). But it's "The Great University Gamble" that has allowed me to understand so much of wider context & recent history of UK universities that plays into #USS dispute 6/
Weep as you read how McGettigan closes his preface (written at end of 2012) 7/ (cc @acupunctureUSS on football / HE comparisons)
But then look how the book ends. Many of us became (re)animated in spring of 2018, but we shd be under no illusions about just how much of the “great university gamble” is, since McGettigan’s book was published in 2013, now hard baked into UK HE sector #USSstrike 8/8
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