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Essays and Journalism

On this page, you can read some of my occasional pieces. Many of these are journalism pieces, usually attending to some central or occasional issues concerning the academy, the University, and cultural policy.

The Unseen University This piece argues that the real work of the University has been forced into a clandestine existence, hidden beneath the 'official' view of our institutions.

On Competition : or, how the logic of competition distorts and malforms academic activity.

On academic freedom under threat: The attack on knowledge: Index on Censorship: Academic Freedom under threat : This piece, from the fortieth anniversary issue of Index on Censorship is a reflection on how financial cuts over forty years have contributed to a major threat to basic principles of academic freedom.

Treachery and New College for Humanities : a piece arguing that A.C.Grayling's 'New College for the Humanities' constitutes a betrayal of the University sector in the UK.

How cuts restrict academic freedom : The Guardian picking up on the Index on Censorship item.

From freedom to conformity : Times Higher Education report on my Index essay.

'On cultural Studies': An interview : Paul Bowman interviewed me on the topic of 'Cultural Studies' as a University discipline.

On the Tour de France : an informal and personal essay about my love of cycling and of the Tour de France.

On language teaching : or, how language-learning should become more central in all University degrees.

Against QAA :The Guardian reporting on my book, The English Question and its critique of QAA.

The University is a noble institution : a 'thought-piece' written for the London Graduate School, where I have a position as a Distinguished International Professor.

On contact hours : arguing that the logic of fees and its quantification into contact hours works against basic principles of university pedagogy

The University is Not a Business : the title says what it means.

Defending public higher education :text of a letter co-signed by a significant number of academics, arguing against Coalition policy on Universities

On sabbaticals : arguing for their more widespread distribution

From Glasgow to Saturn: globalisation and the university : a YouTube video of a keynote lecture I gave at the World Universities Network conference in Bristol, 2012

On value-for-money, ethics, and fees : or, how the logic of VfM is of dubious ethical standing

On Widening Participation : as it says, WP - but in relation to the fees regime

On citation indices : and how their use distorts and misrepresents the value of research, and even damages the fundamental research-activity itself

On interdisciplinarity : as a convenient mechanism that has allowed Government to seize control of the academy's broad research agenda

On the accreditation of teaching : and on some of its vacuous activities

Globalisation and its discontents is here:

Here is a piece about speed and its supposed 'efficiency': Efficiency and democracy

A piece on academic freedom under threat by managerialist fundamentalism: On academic freedom

and a nice review of my Universities at War book: Every student should have a copy