For the longest period of its history, the university was the guardian and transmitter – not the producer – of knowledge. This relatively recent change of transmitting…
For the longest period of its history, the university was the guardian and transmitter – not the producer – of knowledge. This relatively recent change of transmitting canonical knowledge and generating new knowledge is normally associated with Wilhelm von Humboldt. Other highly influential university models were provided by France and Great Britain. The association of certain types of universities with particular countries is a strong indicator of the intricate link between nation-state and education. Hence, the history of tertiary education and its elite institutions, the research universities, must be considered in relation with a sea change in educational history – the gradual emergence of national education systems. Only under the conditions of the by now standard form of organizing modern societies as nation-states did education become a central institution (Meyer, Boli, Thomas, & Ramirez, 1997) collapsing individual perfectibility and national progress. The nationally redefined university was integrated into the education system as its keystone while also being considered the motor of societal development. From a social history perspective, the latter aspect in particular indicates the pragmatic (training professionals, imparting military and technical knowledge, etc.) and symbolic expectations, “myths” of the nation-state that have been so aptly described and analyzed in numerous macro-sociological neo-institutionalist studies (Meyer, Ramirez, & Soysal, 1992; Meyer et al., 1997; Ramirez & Boli, 1987). In a macro-phenomenological perspective, the term “myth” is used to denote a fundamental change in the self-description of European society which since the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries no longer views itself as consisting of separate collectivities divided from each other by social origin – as was the case under feudal conditions – with each collectivity providing itself the necessary education for its members or being provided for by others in the case of neediness. Instead, as a result of a number of material and immaterial changes, society now defines the individual as its key unit, with the nation being consequently the aggregate of individuals and not of collectivities and the state redefined as the guardian of the nation. This conception might be taken as a kind of overlapping area which includes different approaches, such as Michel Foucault's concept of the disciplinary society (Foucault, 1977), Balibar and Wallerstein's (1991) deliberations on the relation between race, class, and nation, and Benedict Anderson's (1991) description of nations as imagined communities. All these studies could be taken as sharing the notion of “constructedness” (cf. Berger & Luckmann, 1972) of modern society with the neo-institutionalist perspective. The concept of a “world polity” which encompasses the “myths” society is based on, the overall notion of a cognitive culture, which takes Max Weber's concept of rationality as a point of departure, is identified as the basis of isomorphic change in the organizational structure of modern education systems (cf. Baker & Wiseman, 2006). However, the strong emphasis on international, world system embeddedness of nation-states and their education systems is not to be taken as a unidirectional dependence on external forces. While modern nation-states originate from and remain tied to international dynamics and developments, they are conceived as unique entities. For most of their history, modern nation-states have been preoccupied with making themselves distinct from each other. Thus, while international competition has always been present, looking abroad traditionally meant reworking, adapting, and reshaping what was imported, or borrowed (Halpin & Troyna, 1995; Steiner-Khamsi, 2004). This is true for education as well as for other areas of society.
This research examines higher education developments within transitory democratic spaces, using Tunisia as a case study. A document analysis of higher education policies…
This research examines higher education developments within transitory democratic spaces, using Tunisia as a case study. A document analysis of higher education policies in Tunisia shows a shift from an internal process of Tunisification to a focus on prescriptive global educational agendas. In examining higher education reforms during the past three decades in Tunisia, we attempt to understand the role of higher education in aiding and abiding the “Arab democracy deficit” through policies imposed upon the system through strict state intervention. We describe how higher education structures came to be, how policies were created, and detail how the issues and challenges stemming from higher education helped spread sentiments for the Tunisian Jasmine Revolution. Finally, we examine a lack of convergence, which enabled students to galvanize to overthrow a government criticized for its corruption and policy failures.
As students increasingly incur debt to finance their undergraduate education, there is heightened concern about the long-term implications of loans on borrowers…
As students increasingly incur debt to finance their undergraduate education, there is heightened concern about the long-term implications of loans on borrowers, especially borrowers from low socioeconomic backgrounds. Drawing upon the concepts of cultural capital and habitus (Bourdieu & Passeron, 1977), this research explores how student debt and social class intersect and affect individuals’ trajectory into adulthood. Based on 50 interviews with young adults who incurred $30,000–180,000 in undergraduate debt and who were from varying social classes, the findings are presented in terms of a categorization schema (income level by level of cultural capital) and a conceptual model of borrowing. The results illustrate the inequitable payoff that college and debt can have for borrowers with varying levels of cultural resources, with borrowers from low-income, low cultural capital backgrounds more likely to struggle throughout and after college with their loans.
Tertiary education in Ghana has seen rapid advancement over the past two decades. This growth is the result of transformative policy reforms such as upgrading polytechnics…
Tertiary education in Ghana has seen rapid advancement over the past two decades. This growth is the result of transformative policy reforms such as upgrading polytechnics into higher education status; the establishment of the University of Development Studies (UDS) in the northern part of the country; the amalgamation of existing Colleges of Education into degree awarding institutions; the creation of the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) to provide supplementary financial support for infrastructure, faculty research and development; expansion of distance education programs; modification of the student loan scheme; and a conducive regulatory environment that encourages private sector participation in higher education provision. In spite of these developments, the system continues to face several challenges such as limited funding to support academic programs; limited participation rates for low-income students, females, and minorities; difficulty recruiting and retaining young academic and research faculty; inadequate research capacities; limited ICT infrastructure to enhance instruction and curriculum delivery and inadequate facilities to support science and technology education; etc. This chapter focuses on the state of public higher education in Ghana with emphasis on current growth and challenges. The chapter offers descriptive analysis based on government policy reports and documents, enrollment data from universities in Ghana, and data from the Ministry of Education and the National Council for Tertiary Education in Ghana.
This chapter’s focus is on the disparate factors that are affecting higher education students that by circumstance not of their making are both displaced and seeking…
This chapter’s focus is on the disparate factors that are affecting higher education students that by circumstance not of their making are both displaced and seeking refuge within the fields of continuing their higher education. The fear of losing a young educated generation that can be part of the reconciliation process of the country in the post-conflict era has become close to reality, especially in Syria and in the neighbouring countries where the lost possibility of Syrian refugees’ returning to Syria is higher than other places. We have organized this chapter into three parts. The first part explores the history of higher education for Syrians with emphasis on the last half century. The second part describes the theoretical underpinnings of those displaced in today’s social political context through the lenses of Foucault and Maslow. The third part discusses a specific case study: the challenges Syrian students are facing in Lebanon, focusing on specific policies such as online education as a viable tool for serving displaced students, legal documents and the lack thereof, ability to get scholarships, policies and laws to understand.
How do racial meanings structure the institution of higher education and the organizations and networks it encompasses? This chapter develops a theory of racial activation…
How do racial meanings structure the institution of higher education and the organizations and networks it encompasses? This chapter develops a theory of racial activation to usefully link conceptualizations of race and organizations. This theory examines how racial meanings shape organizational fields, forms or types of organizations, and the strategic use of racial meanings by actors in organizations to create a more robust understanding of the processes by which organizations are themselves made racialized. Predominant scholarship on race can largely be characterized as theorizing the mechanisms by which race is constructed or uncovering the patterns and consequences of inequality along racial lines. Much existing research hovers above at a macro level where national, state, and global powers are understood to impose racial categories, symbols, meanings, and rules onto daily life while higher education has largely been studied as a site where we see the effects of broader social disparities play out. This chapter draws on insights from inhabited institutionalism to develop a theory of racial activation that usefully links conceptualizations of race and organizations to provide an intersectional and interactional approach to the study of fields.
In this chapter, the authors interrogate the structures, natures, processes, and variables that shape globalized collegiate desegregation. The authors pay attention to the…
In this chapter, the authors interrogate the structures, natures, processes, and variables that shape globalized collegiate desegregation. The authors pay attention to the history of segregation in South African culture, then proceed to current efforts to dismantle and rebuild the country’s educational enterprise. Drawing parallels with segregation policy in the United States, the authors argue that both nations may draw from global lessons about systemic global anti-Black oppression and its structural forms (e.g., apartheid, inequities in higher education). More specifically, the authors ground arguments in an analysis of the linguistic hegemony that continues to inculcate the college-aspiring students of South Africa. Understanding fundamental desegregation characteristics of racial hegemonic nations (e.g., United States) vis-à-vis racial and linguistic hegemonic nations (e.g., South Africa) is imperative to increase understanding of democratization of educational systems throughout the world.
This chapter discusses the sociohistories that shape the current existential realities for HBCU education in the Caribbean, particularly the University of the Virgin…
This chapter discusses the sociohistories that shape the current existential realities for HBCU education in the Caribbean, particularly the University of the Virgin Islands. The distinction, Anglophone Caribbean (also commonly referred to as the British West Indies), is a way of naming the intentional displacement and conquering of the indigenous people of the islands. Following a theorization of colonization, the chapter discusses the politics of higher education in the Anglophone Caribbean that influence the existence of the only HBCU outside the continental US, The University of the Virgin Islands. This context is essential to understanding the university’s founding and modern existence.
The purpose of this paper is to explore the interaction between a liminal rural Australian city (Lithgow) and the development of higher education options across the city's…
The purpose of this paper is to explore the interaction between a liminal rural Australian city (Lithgow) and the development of higher education options across the city's history. The paper proposes a nuanced interaction between national, social, religious, political, regional and local forces to explain why an industrial city such as Lithgow, with obvious educational strengths, would be overlooked while others (such as Wollongong and Bathurst) were not.
The paper takes the form of a longitudinal study of educational institutions, placed in their historical contexts, in order to demonstrate the fluctuation of educational vision with the rise and fall of socio-economic contributors to the town's fortunes.
The paper finds that the city's formation and dependence on war-related industries created boom-bust cycles which negatively impacted on its entrepreneurial, managerial and working class elites, and so on its ability to bring cultural and political influence to bear in the formation of local higher education options, across a period in which higher education becomes an increasingly federal responsibility.
The paper suggests policy ramifications for the support of higher education options in the city.
The paper supports the interpretation that it is not merely that education itself promotes social mobility, but that what type of education is important, along with an eye to how education contributes to the overall well-being and cross-class profile of the city of Lithgow.
This paper fills a gap in historical knowledge about Lithgow's educational institutions, the study of which heretofore has tended to be located with either labor historical or heritage approaches. This paper takes a socio-cultural and longitudinal/holistic approach which brings together a variety of approaches previously not treated.
Researcher Highlight: Dr. Carter G. Woodson (1875–1950)