Global Survey of Academic Freedom Issues in 2015 [Post 13 of a Series]


The United Kingdom, Part 4: Northern Ireland

In October 2015, Mike Larkin contributed a feature article to the Belfast Telegraph that challenged the fundamental logic in the arguments for the corporatization of Northern Ireland’s universities:

“When is a university not a university? When it is a business perhaps? The recent episodes of Queen’s: A University Challenged on BBC Northern Ireland were illuminating. They shed some light onto the vast extent of an operation that is typical of a modern university.

“But shocking to many was the incessant stressing of Queen’s as a ‘business.’ That the programme-makers dwelt on this reflects an emphasis deliberately concocted by the university’s management.

“This uncovering of Queen’s as a business reveals an inherent dilemma and tension affecting many universities. The programme’s episodes serve us well by opening up the debate about what a university is, what it is for and its mission in our advanced…

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