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    Rights statement: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Education Policy on 28 Feb 2020, available online: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02680939.2020.1725983

    Accepted author manuscript, 419 KB, PDF document

    Embargo ends: 28/08/21

    Available under license: CC BY-NC: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

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The employability dispositif, or the re-articulation of the relationship between universities and their environment

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

E-pub ahead of print
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>28/02/2020
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Education Policy
Number of pages26
Publication StatusE-pub ahead of print
Early online date28/02/20
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

This paper focuses on how universities are increasingly made responsible for the employment of their students . Drawing on Governmentality Studies, we suggest framing this pressure as an employability dispositif. We join critical studies which link the employability imperative to a neo-liberal transformation of the higher education landscape. However, we criticise them for not paying enough attention to how the dispositif is put into practice by different universities and countries. As a consequence, they overlook important differences in terms of its institutionalisation. This contribution presents an overview of the dispositif's variegation, based t on the findings of a survey with responses from 84 European universities in 26 European countries, which makes our study the most comprehensive in the field to date. Using an abductive approach, we aim, in addtion, to find explanations for the variegation. We show that a high youth unemployment rate has little explanatory power for the strength of the employability dispostif, in contrast to tuition fees and the country typology that we use and further develop. The dispositif is most advanced in Liberal Market Economies, indicating that universities in these countries seem to be on the way to becoming labour market institutions in their own right.

Bibliographic note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Education Policy on 28 Feb 2020, available online: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02680939.2020.1725983