The United Kingdom and Germany
Chapter 7British and German Students in a Shifting Scenario 171
Chapter 7 British and German Education Students in a Shifting Scenario1 Impetus for Change It is commonly argued that higher education is changing in response to the imperative of market forces and competition (HE). Much work has been done on how this is impacting upon aspects of HE such as finance, management and the academic profession, but less attention has been paid to those who are learners within the system. The aim of the present study is to focus upon students in the United Kingdom (UK) and the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) in order to assess the extent to which their beliefs and attitudes may be diverging from traditional mind-sets and veer- ing towards those more associated with market forces in higher education. The notion of “academic capitalism” has been developed by Slaughter and Leslie (1997) who define it as a combination of the market and “market-like behaviour”. These involve initiatives such as manipulating formula funding to introduce competition, reducing dependence upon the state, increasing consumer choice, enterprise and privatisation. They are convinced that the public universities of most westernised countries are moving towards this mode and believe that it impacts upon values, norms and beliefs in a way that is destabilising patterns of university professional work developed over the past hundred years. They test this hypothesis upon academic staf f in four countries: Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States. Not all these four countries responded to globalisation in 1 First published in Higher Education Management...
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