Representations of a high-quality system of undergraduate education in English higher education policy documents

Paul Ashwin, Andrea Abbas, Monica Mclean

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)
159 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This article examines the ways in which a high-quality system of undergraduate education is represented in recent policy documents from a range of actors interested in higher education. Drawing on Basil Bernstein’s ideas, the authors conceptualise the policy documents as reflecting a struggle over competing views of quality that are expressed through pedagogic discourses. They identify two pedagogic discourses: a dominant market-oriented generic discourse and an alternative discourse that focuses on transformation. They argue that the market oriented generic discourse is dominant because it is more coherent and more consistently presented than the alternative discourse, which is much more fractured. In conclusion, they argue that refocusing the alternative discourse of quality around students’ relations to academic knowledge may offer a way in which to bring the different actors from the higher education field together in order to form a stronger, more cohesive voice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)610-623
Number of pages14
JournalStudies in Higher Education
Volume40
Issue number4
Early online date18 Oct 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • Higher education quality; inequality; policy documents; sociology; undergraduate students
  • Inequality
  • Students
  • consumers
  • policy documents

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  • Projects

    PEQ: Pedagogic Quality and Inequality in University First Degrees

    Abbas, A., McLean, M. & Ashwin, P.

    1/11/0831/01/12

    Project: Project at a former HEI

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