John Holmwood

The ‘avalanche of change’ in higher education must be contextualised in terms of the government’s broader neoliberal policies

A recent report from the Institute for Public Policy Research has made headlines calling for urgent transformation of British universities if they are to survive sweeping technological change. From massive open online courses (MOOCs) to open access, John Holmwood argues these changes are less about transformative technology and more about privatised commercialisation and must be understood as part of the wider neo-liberal context in which they have […]

The rhetoric which surrounds MOOCs can distract us from the broader project of ‘unbundling’ the University in pursuit of profit

Internet delivered higher education is described by some in revolutionary terms, providing access to education for poor people or remote populations. In practice, though, the ‘unbundling’ of activities is advocated in order better to subject them to marketisation. John Holmwood argues that consultants advocating for the ‘unbundling’ of universities care not about widening inequality or providing students with employment opportunities, but rather with exploiting […]

The government’s Higher Education reforms have put the public infrastructure of teaching and research at serious risk

This academic year has seen the entry of the first cohort of undergraduate students under the new fees regime. In the first article of a British Politics and Policy special feature John Holmwood reflects on this new regime and the broader changes which brought it about, arguing that higher education has a enduring public value which is obscured within the […]

Spectacle and reality: inequality in the second Elizabethan age

John Holmwood looks at changing income inequality and welfare institutions during the Queen’s 60 year reign. While the Jubilee celebrations were a spectacle of unity, the truth is that inequality has been dramatically on the increase in Britain during the second part of the monarch’s reign. The public institutions inaugurated during the first half of the reign have been dismantled and marketised in the […]