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Professor Mike Neary, University of Lincoln

'Learning Landscapes in Higher Education: the struggle for the idea of the University'

This paper is based on research into the extent and nature of academic engagement into the design and development of new pedagogic spaces across HE in the UK. The research shows that academics are increasingly involved in the development of new teaching and learning spaces as customers or clients of the project management process, but not as academics. The result is that universities are rapidly becoming learning landscapes with no defining characteristics, i.e., ‘non-places’ (Auge 1992), with features designed only to facilitate the processes of academic capitalism (Slaughter and Leslie 1997). Using Bourdieu’s concept of the ‘collective intellectual’, the paper will suggest ways in which the academic voice can reassert itself by asking critical reflexive questions about the role and nature of higher education. This debate is already well defined in the academic literature as the ‘idea of the university’.

Photo of Mike Neary Professor Mike Neary is the Dean of Teaching and Learning at the University of Lincoln and the Director of Lincoln's Centre for Educational Research and Development. Before taking up this post in 2007 Mike was a Reader in the Sociology Department at the University of Warwick where he taught political sociology. During his time at Warwick Mike was the Director of the Reinvention Centre for Undergraduate Research, a collaborative Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning between Sociology at Warwick and the School of the Built Environment at Oxford Brookes University. The Reinvention Centre developed a reputation for its radical experimentation with teaching spaces to support critical and participative pedagogies. Mike has published widely in the field of political sociology, with an increasing focus on the politics and policy of higher education. He is the co-editor of the recently published The Future of Higher Education: Policy, Pedagogy and the Student Experience. Mike has recently completed a research project, Learning Landscapes in Higher Education, funded by HEFCE, SFC and the HEFCW. Mike is a National Teaching Fellow.