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Free to manage?: a neo-liberal defence of academic freedom in British higher education

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>04/2014
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management
Issue number2
Number of pages12
Pages (from-to)143-154
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date29/11/13
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Much of the rhetoric opposing managerialism in higher education can be ascribed to philosophical and political objections to the neo-liberal ideology which is alleged to underlie the phenomenon. This paper approaches managerialism from a different direction, addressing it within a neo-liberal framework. The paper argues that there is no intrinsic reason why support for a neo-liberal philosophy should equate with a belief in the need for managerialism in higher education. In particular, the author argues that neo-liberalism values freedom above other principles and that managerialism curtails academic freedom through control, instrumentalism and ideology and that, in all of these respects, it is counter-liberal. The paper concludes by suggesting an alternative approach to higher education which would enhance the importance of academic freedom within a neo-liberal policy framework.