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Durham e-Theses
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Structural reform in higher education: the changing role and status of the university college sector

Rhodes, Malcolm (1999) Structural reform in higher education: the changing role and status of the university college sector. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



This thesis examines the nature of structural reform of higher education in England with a particular focus on the changing policy environment of the role and status of the University College sector. The study explores the extent to which political and status considerations have determined the shape of the sector and the interrelationship of institutions within it. It is argued that the pressure to reform the structure of the higher education sector in response to profound economic, political, social, cultural, educational and demographic changes has confronted the traditional value systems and structures of an elite system. The debate relating to the legitimate use of the University College title and the attendant issues relating to institutional title and status encapsulates this conflict of interest and neglects the historical development and growth of the sector. It is argued that the failure of two recent major Committees of Inquiry and successive policy-makers to implement systematic structural reform of higher education in order to promote greater social justice, meritocratic social mobility and educational opportunity, and simultaneously to resolve the anomalies of institutional positioning (which reflect both the elite values of the existing sector and the legacy of the piecemeal and unstructured historical development of higher education), has perpetuated the confusion of institutional status and has generated a policy conflict whose ambiguities threaten the fulfilment of the lifelong learning agenda and the future success of individual institutional providers of higher education beyond the mainstream university sector.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Education
Thesis Date:1999
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:13 Sep 2012 15:47

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