here - University College Dublin

Neo-liberalism and Carelessness in the
Kathleen Lynch
Equality Studies Centre
UCD School of Social Justice
The Idea of a University in the 21st Century
TCD symposium: February 10-11 2012
• If Universities are Cost Effective why are they
being told they are inefficient?
• The Role of Global Capital in defining the Role of the
University - rise of individualised and corporatised academic
• Influence of Multilateral Agencies
• The Consequences of Marketisation
– Culture of the University
– Anti-egalitarian developments
– Carelessness – impact on women, carers, students
• Conclusions
Equality Studies Centre, UCD School of
Social Justice
EXPENDITURE on Higher Education in
• Total public expenditure on tertiary education
institutions as a percentage of GDP has declined
despite increased participation rates
• 1998 1999
• 1.30 1.35
• Sources: EcoFin (Country report for Ireland (2010:
4-5) and OECD (2009)Education at a Glance, Table
Equality Studies Centre, UCD School of
Social Justice
Efficiency of Irish Higher Education and the
Standing of Irish Graduates
• UK, the Netherlands, Ireland, Sweden, Finland and Denmark are the most
cost efficient countries for higher education in Europe
– Source: Efficiency and effectiveness of public expenditure on tertiary education in the EU
(European Commission, ECOFIN Study, 2010: 36)
• Ireland was ranked highest of all countries in the international recruiter
review of graduate employability and 2nd highest in the international peer
review of graduate quality THES-QS University rankings
– Source: (National Strategy for Higher Education (Hunt , 2010: 29)
• YET, the Hunt Report argues: ‘It is envisaged that a move to funding for
outcomes within a quality-assured and performance-based framework will
generate a need to increase productivity and to incorporate greater
flexibility in employment contracts’ (ibid:103)
Equality Studies Centre, UCD School of
Social Justice
Global Capital defining the Role of the
• Global movement to make higher education a tradable service
rather than a public service
• Reason: Declining returns of capital from manufacturing,
agriculture and other tradable activities
– The Services Directive 2006 (EU) moving towards
– General Agreement on Trade and Services (GATS)objective is the ‘liberalisation’ of trade in services – reduce
state investment and placing lucrative areas of education
(higher education) on the market
– Outcomes: Once education services are defined as tradable
under the GATS they are deregulated and legal, political and
fiscal quality controls are greatly reduced.
Equality Studies Centre, UCD School of
Social Justice
Pressure to introduce For-Profit Education
• Increasing pressure in the US to promote for-profit
education at all levels as it promotes the tradability of
services (Cato Institute, Apollo, Kaplan etc.)
• Merrill Lynch estimated that the for-profit education
market will grow at a rate of 13 percent per year in the
• “If the typical class enrolls 20 students at $800 tuition
each, revenue equals $16,000. If the faculty member is
paid $1,600 to $2,000, that leaves at least $14,000 to
cover all other costs plus profit… UOP is a veritable money
machine" [Yung, 2004]. ” (a quote from the University of Phoenix
for-profit university with over 400,000 students)
Equality Studies Centre, UCD School of
Social Justice
Market-led higher education is official policy:
The Lisbon Agreement and the Hunt Report
• "Knowledge and innovation are the engines of sustainable growth in
Europe today, and universities are crucial for achieving the goals set
out by the …European Council. ……….. The Commission invites national
decision makers to set out measures that would enable universities to
play a full role in the Lisbon strategy".
Ján Figel', European Commissioner for Education, Training, Culture and
Multilingualism March 8th 2010
• ‘Irish higher education will also need to deepen the quality and
intensity of its relationship with enterprise and adjust its strategy
regularly in response to global change …….the people who enter higher
education….are the job creators, policy makers, social innovators and
business leaders of the future……. they will be the productive engine of
a vibrant and prosperous economy’ (Hunt: 2010: 39 on The Mission of
Higher Education in Ireland)….
Equality Studies Centre, UCD School of
Social Justice
Neo-liberal view of Education an optional
‘commodity’ on the Market
The goal of neo-liberalism is the reduction in the cost to
capital (i.e. business) of expenditure on public services
The market should replace the state as the provider of all
Loss of resources to fund public services such as education leads
social class-based segregation in education
a generalised lack of respect and support for public services and
those who work in them and use them
A system in which private sector providers cannot be held to
account in the same way as public providers
Consequences of Marketisation:
the proletarianisation of academic life
• The casualisation of the academic and teaching staff is a close correlate of
market-led education (in the UK 45% of academics are on fixed term or
hourly contracts (Baker and Brown, 2007 Rethinking Universities )
• An estimated 95% of academics are part-time in the University of Phoenix
compared with an average of 47% nationally in the US..
• We do not know the % of academics are on contract and/or part-time in
Ireland – the lack of data from the HEA is a form of control
• Lessons from Australia - impoverishment of students
• The US Government Accountability Office (GAO, 2010) found that the
courses in for-profit colleges cost several multiples of what they cost in
comparator public colleges
Equality Studies Centre, UCD School of
Social Justice
Neo-liberal values impact on the culture of
higher education
• In adopting business models of operation the university and other
higher educational bodies generally institutionalise commercial values
both in research and teaching and in their systems and processes:
– Universities move from being centres of learning and scholarship to
service-delivery operations with productivity targets
– The processes legitimates the pursuit of individualised economic selfinterest and credentials among students, and career interests among
staff –
– individualised academic capitalism is utterly Care-Less
• Student and staff idealism to work in ‘the public interest’ is diminished
when universities begin to function as competitive business-oriented
Equality Studies Centre, UCD School of
Social Justice
Eliding the difference between commercial
and public interests in research
Public-private partnerships are promoted in lieu of state support for
research–exemplified in state subvention of commercially-driven
research » Consequences -elision of the difference between public interest-driven
scholarship and for-profit-led research : 50% of life sciences faculty staff
in the US are consultants to industry (Lieberwitz, R. (2007)., in Paula E.
Stephan and Ronald G.Ehrenberg, eds. SCIENCE AND THE UNIVERSITY
(University of Wisconsin Press)
» Philanthropy is promoted as a substitute for taxation - a new
form of institutionalised corporate charity
» Consequences -emergence of philanthro-capitalism and private
sector control over civil society institutions including
universities. Agenda is set by the private interests of those
funding the foundations (Michael Edwards, (Just Another
Emperor; Myths and Realities of Philanthrocapitalism, 2008)
Equality Studies Centre, UCD School of
Social Justice
New managerialism –
impact on equality in higher education
• Efficiency is prioritised over equality of access, participation
and outcome: Irish examples
• Closure of the Higher Education Equality Unit as an independent
• No HEA surveys of Equality of access and participation for several
• No published data on the staff profile of those in higher education
since 2004 (no data on gender, ethnicity, disability etc., tenure status
of staff)
• Introduction of the HPAT – which was designed to discriminate against
women at entry to medicine – no published data on this
• Budget 2012 – Serious attack on Low Income students maintenance
grants are removed for all graduate students; fees will only be paid for
Masters students whose families have a net income of €22,703
• Silence from the IRISH UNIVERSITIES!
Equality Studies Centre, UCD School of
Social Justice
Carelessness in Higher Education
• Discourse of new managerialism implies greater opportunities for
gender equality in management – new opportunities in a more
‘rational’ ‘open’ system
• BUT New managerialism assumes a Rational Economic Actor (REA)
model of the citizen; ignores the reality of human dependency and
• Senior managers and senior academics are defined in practice as people
with 24/7 time for the organisation: ‘Care-Free’ Workers – this ignores the
gendered order of caring in society
• Source: Lynch, K. , Grummell, B. and Devine, D. (2012, May) New Managerialism: Gender,
Commercialisation and Carelessness. London: Palgrave Macmillan
Equality Studies Centre, UCD School of
Social Justice
Care-less cultures in higher education:
work without time boundaries
• And to be quite honest, I mean, since I came into the post I’d say on
average I work an 85 hour week, between 75 and 85 hours a week….You do
work phenomenal hours and you are probably hearing this as well from
school principals. That is another issue for women who still have caring
responsibilities. I mean I don’t, …(Senior female post holder higher
education and an assessor)
– I was working pretty much seven days a week, or six and a ½ days a week, and my stated
objective was to get down to five days a week while doing the other things.. (Senior
male post holder in higher education)
• Also in universities for women faculty members the fact that most
promotion now prioritises research means that it is very, very difficult for
…women to be able to devote the amount of time that seems to be
necessitated for producing research and publications…I really think that
society needs to remodel how it looks at work (Senior female post holder,
higher education)
New Managerialism : having children: deciding not to
have children – a women’s issue
It broke my heart so that was the end.. and I determined, no more children, I
just couldn’t cope with it, it was heartbreaking. I didn’t feel that I could tell
them that I was breastfeeding and I needed a cup of tea or a glass of water or
something. ….. But they were very kind decent people, I’m not saying for a
second, this wasn’t bias or anything it’s just that they had never faced
this…(Female senior post holder speaking about holding a senior post and
returning from maternity leave). ….
I mean it was a big influence in only having one, I never had another one and it
wasn’t because…[personal reasons given] but I made a conscious decision that
I couldn’t get tenure and be pregnant and have a second child, it was just not
going to happen. (Female senior post holder at a higher education institution)
…Well we don’t have kids so that made it a lot easier. You wouldn’t maybe
make a decision as quickly if you had a family to move around ….(Female
senior post holder at a higher education institution)
Management culture in higher education:
Hiding care and facing the consequences
Being the primary carer, parenting alone and hiding it
• I didn’t find that very easy and I didn’t feel comfortable asking for any sort of
accommodation to be made for it and indeed I didn’t ask for accommodation to be
made for it. But there would have been times when it would have been nice to
manage things like my son being ill or this kind of stuff because he was quite
young. (Female senior post holder in higher education)
Selection criteria that ignore care realities - for women
• …It has tended to be very criteria-based and once you go criteria-based, you tend
to get out of that [direct discrimination]. However, of course by the mere fact that
you are looking for management experience in terms of criteria…you may in itself
be limiting your field, ….. There are less women with that experience so you are by
definition excluding them……In my optimistic days I think it is changing slightly, not
hugely I think it is still very much a male -dominated society... (Female assessor for
senior posts at a higher education institution).
Conclusion – the Care Ceiling
Under new managerialism there is a growing focus on measured performance
regardless of care costs to people in senior management and to those who
work with them
A Care-Less view of the successful academic has becomes the norm as one
moves up in seniority in higher education; 24/7 culture of paid work –
Care-less academic model is excluding primary carers, the majority of whom
are women
A Care Ceiling is in operation which is replacing the glass ceiling
‘Care Commanders’ make decisions in HE - As our Domain Assumptions (arising
from our biography) influence our Paradigmatic Assumptions – research and
teaching priorities are set by those who are free-riders on others’ every-day care
What is being eroded under new managerialism and neo-liberalism is not only
the idea of education as a right and a public service but an ethos of care in relation
to students and staff
Care-less cultures deny our deep dependencies
and interdependencies as human beings
• ‘While conditioned in fundamentally
significant ways by cultural considerations,
dependency for humans is as unavoidable as
birth and death are for all living organisms.
We may even say that the long maturation
process of humans, combined with the
decidedly human capacity for moral feeling
and attaching, make caring for dependents a
mark of humanity.’ (Kittay,E. Love Labor, 1999:
Role of the University
‘It is the University that must guide democracy into the new
fields of arts, literature and science. It is the university that
fights the battle of democracy, its war-cry being: ‘Come let us
reason together’. It is the University that …goes forth with
buoyant spirit to comfort and give help to those who are
downcast, taking up its dwelling in the midst of squalor and
distress’ (William Rainey Harper, founder of the University
of Chicago, in his 1899 Charter day address at the University
of California. (Harkavy, Ira 2005: 4).
Equality Studies Centre, UCD School of
Social Justice