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Welfare Reform on the Web (May 2007): Education - overseas

Establishing university-community partnerships: processes and benefits

N. Buys and S. Bursnall

Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, vol. 29, 2007, p. 73-86

Despite the importance of engagement between universities and communities, academics have been reluctant to become involved in research partnerships. This paper describes a study that documents the experience of seven academics who successfully established community partnerships. It also explores the perceived benefits of partnerships to the academics and the university. Findings indicate that a range of benefits result from such partnerships in terms of research, teaching and community recognition.

Gender, schooling and global social justice

E. Unterhalter

London: Routledge, 2007

The book examines gender equality in schooling as an aspiration of global social justice. With nearly one billion people having little or no schooling and women and girls comprising nearly two-thirds of this total, this book analyses the historical, sociological, political and philosophical issues involved as well as exploring actions taken by governments, Inter-Government Organisations, NGOs and women’s groups since 1990 to combat this injustice. The book is organised into three parts:

  • the first provides a background to the history of the provision of schooling for girls worldwide since 1945 and locates the challenges of gender inequality in education
  • the second examines different views as to why questions of gender and schooling should be addressed globally, contrasting arguments based on human capital theory, rights and capabilities
  • the third part analyses how governments, Inter-Government Organisations and NGOs have put policy into practice.
  • Addressing the urgent global challenges in gender and schooling, this book calls for a new connected approach in policy and practice.

Marketization in the Dutch vocational education and training sector: hybrids and their behaviour

M. Honingh and S. Karsten

Public Management Review, vol. 9, 2007, p. 135-143

Education policy in the Dutch vocational education and training sector has become more complex over the past twenty years with the introduction of a quasi-market in education, increasing autonomy for individual providers, the growth of quangos and task forces, and steering through a more diverse range of policy instruments. This article offers a conceptual model for investigating the impact of this new direction on the behaviour of teachers and managers.

Negotiating acts of citizenship in an era of neoliberal reform: the game of school closures

R. Basu

International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, vol. 31, 2007, p.109-127

Between 1999 and 2002 a neoliberal provincial government closed down over 200 schools in Ontario. This article traces the difficult process of school closure negotiations during an intense period of restructuring of the education system using case studies from Toronto. The evolution of the reconfiguration process is examined at three different periods (1998, 1999 and 2000), demonstrating the slow and steady construction, advancement and legitimisation of neoliberal policy. Based primarily on participant observation carried out over a year, the study examines the politics of the community consultation process among a heterogeneous 'family of schools' amid mixed incomes and varying capacities and needs.

Open and distance learning in the developing world. 2nd ed.

H. Perraton

London: Routledge, 2007

The book sets the expansion of distance education in the context of general educational change and explores its use for basic and non-formal education, schooling, teacher training and higher education. The book collects together and reviews the evidence of the effects, cost and process of open and distance learning in order to provide an informed appraisal of its strengths and weaknesses. It provides a comprehensive overview and includes new material on:

  • non-formal education: mass-communication approaches to education about HIV/AIDS and recent literacy work in India, South Africa, and Zambia
  • schooling: new research projects in open schooling in Asia and Africa, and interactive radio instruction in South Africa
  • the impact of new technology and globalisation: learning delivered through the internet and mobile learning
  • the political economy: international agencies, the role of private sector, and funding.

Performance-based funding as an instrument of competition in German higher education

D. Orr, M. Jaeger and A. Schwarzenberger

Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, vol.29, 2007, p. 3-23

A core element of new public management is the creation of a market in delivery of public services through state-induced competition between providers. In German higher education, state funding makes up a substantial proportion of university income and the introduction of performance-based funding is seen as a key lever for stimulating competition between institutions. Reforms in funding allocation have occurred in Germany at both state and university level. Good performance on indicators of teaching quality, gender equality and research productivity are rewarded with extra state finance, but in many cases performance-based funding only determines a marginal part of total budget allocations and discretionary, incremental funding dominates.

Regulating 'university' and degree-granting authority: changing the guard

G. Moodie

Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, vol.29, 2007, p.103-117

Governments currently take two main approaches to regulating universities. One is to regulate closely the designation of universities which are then granted authority to accredit their own qualifications. The second approach is to allow relative freedom in the adoption of the university title but to accredit strictly and to re-accredit regularly the institutions and their qualifications, particularly degrees. The first approach seems to be associated with strong government involvement in establishing and funding universities. It therefore seems vulnerable to erosion as increasing proportions of university funds are obtained from non-government sources, mainly students, and as increasing numbers of private institutions are established. This article considers recent changes in university recognition systems in England, the USA and Australia. England has changed most from focusing on the permanent designation of institutional types to the periodic recognition of qualification granting authority. Australia has made modest changes and still follows the first approach of permanently designating institutional types. The USA is not considering changes along this continuum, but may introduce into federal government accreditation arrangements institutional accountability measures that other countries impose as conditions for the receipt of government grants and loans.

Tuition fee policies in a comparative perspective: theoretical and political rationales

P.N. Marcucci and D.B. Johnstone

Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, vol. 29, 2007, p. 25-40

The charging of tuition fees by universities has become increasingly salient as more countries turn to cost sharing in an effort to meet growing demand for, and offset decreasing government investment in, higher education. Tuition fee policies and the financial assistance policies that accompany them are critical both because of the very considerable revenue at stake and because of the potential impact on higher education accessibility and the participation of students from low-income families.

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