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Representations of a high-quality system of undergraduate education in English higher education policy documents

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2015
<mark>Journal</mark>Studies in Higher Education
Issue number4
Number of pages14
Pages (from-to)610-623
Early online date21/10/13
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This article examines the ways in which a high-quality system of undergraduate education is represented in recent policy documents from a range of actors interested in higher education. Drawing on Basil Bernstein’s ideas, the authors conceptualise the policy documents as reflecting a struggle over competing views of quality that are expressed through pedagogic discourses. They identify two pedagogic discourses: a dominant market-oriented generic discourse and an alternative discourse that focuses on transformation. They argue that the market oriented generic discourse is dominant because it is more coherent and more
consistently presented than the alternative discourse, which is much more fractured. In conclusion, they argue that refocusing the alternative discourse of quality around students’ relations to academic knowledge may offer a way in which to bring the different actors from the higher education field together in
order to form a stronger, more cohesive voice.

Bibliographic note

The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Studies in Higher Education, 40 (4), 2015, © Informa Plc