Social Work Education and the Marketisation of UK Universities

Cleary, Teresa (2018) Social Work Education and the Marketisation of UK Universities. British Journal of Social Work, 48 (8). pp. 2253-2271. ISSN 1468-263X

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This research examines the changing climate in UK universities since the introduction of fees-based funding and government-backed student loans. In what is now a highly marketised sector, the study considers what influence this neo-liberal environment may be having on the nature and quality of social work education. The study, which was carried out in 2015–16, has sought the views and experiences of a sample of social work academics. Methods employed involved a combination of survey and unstructured interviews, with both data streams having a largely qualitative focus. Questionnaire data was gathered from seventy-eight UK-based academics alongside eighteen interviews. The study has representation from all four countries in the UK with academics including professors, researchers and lecturers from both new and more established universities. Findings indicate a level of concern among participants regarding the influence of market forces on the academic–student relationship, on processes of student admissions, assessment and specifically academic decision making with regard to failing students. Interview participants describe feeling caught in the middle of competing priorities and agendas. Discussion seeks to employ a transformatory critically reflective model of analysis placing emphasis on those researched and the wider social work community to collectively take forward issues which this study has given voice to.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Social work education, universities, marketisation, neo-liberal
Faculty: ARCHIVED Faculty of Health, Social Care & Education (until September 2018)
Depositing User: Lisa Blanshard
Date Deposited: 18 Jun 2019 11:49
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 16:09

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