The changing face of English universities: reinventing collegiality for the twenty-first century
By, Rune Todnem
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Burnes, B., Wend, P. & By, R. (2014) The changing face of English universities: reinventing collegiality for the twenty-first century, Studies in Higher Education, vol. 39, , pp. 905-926,
In this paper we examine the creation and expansion of the English university system. We show how the enormous increase in student numbers, which began with the Robbins Report (1963), led to successive governments cutting universities' funding and compelling them to act more like business enterprises than educational institutions. In turn, vice-chancellors have become more similar to powerful chief executives, collegial forms of control have been significantly reduced and academic staff increasingly work in an environment in which they are told what to teach, how to teach, what research to conduct and where to publish. However, we show that this can be dysfunctional not only for staff, but also for senior managers. In place of this dysfunctional centralism, we argue for a win-win form of collegiality, which is compatible with rapid decision-making at the university centre and effective execution of change at the local/departmental level. © 2013 © 2013 Society for Research into Higher Education.