Expansion Of Education And Its Role In Society Education Essay

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Analyse the historical development of Higher Education and the role, which it plays in society. Compare and contrast recent developments with predecessors. Who were the main 'stakeholders'?

"A University provides for a student an evaluating forum which acknowledges and legitimates for the sake of the broader society, the students knowledge and skills" Clement Katulushin, (2005).

Throughout the essay I will discuss the facts about university/higher-educational institutions, identifying key policies on expanding places, so where higher education started, where are we now and what is proposed for the future. The issue of vocational versus academic within higher education will be discusses, and this through the change of the elitism, opening of opportunities for the labouring classes.

Social issues will be discussed as the expansion on higher education played a key role in society as it was a sense of equality and equal opportunities for all successful qualifying students, this will lead on to the competiveness and globalisation, with the proposals for the future.

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The 1900's was the start of the expansion of Britain's, universities. University courses offered to students increased and so did the student body. The Universities Grants Committee 1919 administered central government funding of universities.

Mass education was provided by universities in 1970 before this it was the territory only for the social elite; it was the 1807 Parochial School Bill that made provision for educating the labouring classes, which led to the mass of education. Women attending university also increased greatly, and teaching provisions expanded which included a range of new subjects and specialties on offer.

The Butler Education Act 1944 signalled the expansion of secondary education and therefore there was a greater demand for university places. Late 1950s, the higher education sector needed expanding as there was a shortage of university places due to the increasing number of students leaving school with an official qualification, entitling them to a chance to go to university.

The classical education was questioned and policy makers became convinced of the importance of science and technology and recommended the transformation of some technical colleges into universities, becoming institutes of technology, recommended by The Percy Report of 1945.

The Barlow Report of 1946 recommended more university places for science students, funded by the state as they believed it would double the annual output of science graduates. In 1956 selected technical and further education (FE), colleges were updated to university status from being just Colleges of Advanced Technology. In mid 1960's most of these became the new universities.

In the mid 1960's the chairman, Sir Geoffrey Crowther, of Central Advisory Council, reported that he was to raise the school leaving age to 16 years old, and compulsory part time education up until the age of 18 years old. In doing, so it highlighted there was a need for more university places, to expand university facilities, as higher education was a universal provision now, for all with the necessary ability.

In 1961, there were less than 15 per cent of applications going to university. Although there was major growth in higher education as the founding of the new institutions were in line with the expansion of existing universities. In 1962 the government outlined a plan to raise student numbers to 150,000, a 40,000 increase over five years, this was through the idea that an increase of funding from £104 million to £165 million per year would be given. In 1966, a white paper set out the Labour government's intention to establish polytechnics in England and Wales. Thirty were set up between 1968 and 1973. Courses were to concentrate on those with a vocational emphasis, offer part time and sub degree or full time and sandwich courses. These were run by local education authorities (LEA's).

1973, the Russell Report states that the number of people in adult education has grown by 750,000, so effectively enabling the labouring classes to have the opportunity to go to university showed more graduates, opening up more opportunities. The Education Act 1973 was the act that made the provision that postgraduates were no longer eligible for LEA grants, so this would have the effect that only those who could fund their education would be able to pursue their education further, after the completion of an undergraduate course. The Education Act 1975, extended provisions of the 1962 Act that stated, students at universities or in further education establishments had £304 available to them in the academic year 1962/63 and £346 in 1968/69, an increase of about 14 per cent, this student grant would therefore help in resources enabling more individuals to attend university.

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1988 Student Support, white paper, proposed top up loans for students, yet the secretary of state education, Mr. Kenneth Barker, states "We have the most generous system of student support in the western world, yet fewer of our young people enter higher education than in other European countries". HC Deb 09 November 1988 vol 140 cc307)

The top up loan averaging over £400 in a full year is not means tested like today but helped as it is available to everyone and individuals were allowed to take as much or as little as they want of that £400. In 1990, Education (student loans) Act established the reduction of student grants as the introduction of top up loans that were available for all higher education students, meaning there would be less free money available and more loans to be paid.

In 1991, the Conservative government made polytechnics grant university status. Polytechnics concentrate mainly on applied research; this is solving practical problems of the modern world, rather than to acquire knowledge for knowledge's sake. Where as universities does strategic research, this being research conducted to produce specific applied programs. The status of polytechnics to be equivalent and the universities means that funding and grants are available and accessible to those students who at polytechnics. The White Paper on Higher Education 1991, recommended expansion of student numbers in higher education. The Prime Minister John Major said the end of the divide between universities and polytechnics would "Build on our plans to transform education and training for 16 to 19-year-olds by removing the barriers between the academic and vocational streams". Where as, Marenbon, Medieval philosophy fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge, stated that conservative politicians, as much as Labour ones, believed in the nonsense about making vocational education of equal esteem to academic education.

In 1992, Further and Higher Education Act unified the funding of Higher Education under the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFC's), which introduced competition for funding between institutions and abolished council for National Academic Awards, which validated degrees outside universities since 1965, was to close and abolish the binary divide, The binary divide being the division of higher education into two sectors, the university sector and the polytechnic sector

A study by Mr. Ramsden and Mr. Brown for the Universities UK, longer-term strategy group, shows that "New university research income grew from 4.6 per cent to 5.8 per cent of total income in this period. Old universities with medical schools saw this proportion increase from 33.1 per cent to 39.1 per cent. Old universities without medical schools remained stable, the percentage going from 23.1 per cent to 23.3 per cent. This situation would hardly have improved if new universities had remained polytechnics" Claire Sanders, (28 June 2002).

The next change in higher education was after a four year gap in 1996, the Student Loans Act extended the provision of student loans, "Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same" Education (Student Loans) Act 1996, CHAPTER 9, [29th April 1996]

Dearing Report 1997 was the review of higher education. Higher education colleges as well as Universities educated 2.8 million students in 1996/97 (figure 1); this is less than a quarter of who were from the group, which used to be the backbone of the old universities. Sixty four percent of students were mature students perusing a qualification and thirty-seven percent part timers. Nearly one million of people enrol with higher education institutions do not to gain a qualification, but to meet a particular skill need (applied research) or fill a gap in their knowledge (strategic research), or just because they wanted to learn. Higher education is a key contributor to national, regional as well as local economic growth and regeneration. Also in 1997/98, statistics show how the United Kingdom attracted 209,000 international students to study in the U.K. (figure 2)

In 1998, the Education (student loans) Act transferred the provision of student loans to the private sector this would allow the students to have protection, as there would be fixed terms and no loopholes for debts to be recovered until the relevant time. The Regulations also provided new repayment terms for disabled borrowers, which meant they had separate terms from 'normal' students, as it would be harder for them to find a job under discrimination possibly. The terms were set at the discretion of the loans administrator. A major change towards the higher education institutions was also in 1998 the Teaching and Higher Education Act established the General Teaching Council (GTC) abolished all student maintenance grants and required students to contribute to tuition fees. Tuition fees paid by all, except the poorest students from 1998/9. Means tested loans/grants meant that about 30% of pupils did not have to pay tuition fees because their income or that of their parents/spouses is not enough. Students that had family incomes of less than about £35,000 a year paid less, this was 30% of students, and they then had the maximum level for 1998/9 of £1,000.

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Maintenance grants given to students towards living expenses with loans from 1999/2000 was replaced by loans, these repayments of loans were at the rate of 9% of a graduate's income once it is above £10,000. This is very similar to the way the students of today 2010 are surviving and in the same way that the availability of a supplementary hardship loan of £250 a year. The terms of either being a single parent, having a disability, are in their last year and some other similar stories are entitled to this loan, which again has to be paid.

From the above paragraphs, discussing the development of higher education from the early 1800 to 2000, now exploring the most recent changes, developments, and controls of higher education. Throughout this part of the essay, it will highlight the impact of previous legislation, laws, and reforms that determined the way of the higher education institutions and universities of today, analysing the values in higher education in the 21st Century, with relevant references.

Higher education today is open to all classes, religions, cultures, sexes, ages and societies as has changed from just the elite group, the upper classes. Nowadays it should not only attempt to engage with students outside the elite circle, of powerful and wealthy parents but also attract those with the opportunity for higher education is denied by reason of funding. This is the process of widening participation; this is different from just opening the doors to university for the lower classes but also individuals from under-represented communities. There are organizations that prepare them for higher education, ensure success on their programme of study, improve their employment prospects and open possibilities for postgraduate study, and give them opportunities to return to learning throughout their lives.

The value of higher education argued and there are many tensions between what students want and what staff want, for example, between the vocational and professional on one hand, or the more academic. There are a lot more vocational courses running at colleges and sixth forms, where students complete successfully which qualifies then to go to university if they please, so, nowadays there are courses "from sports management to computer games design, all manner of vocational courses are on offer in higher education" Andy Sharman, 2006, this is a very big social change.

The British schooling system measures pupil's achievements by having league tables, even higher education institutions and universities have a benchmark, and this seems to be the means towards higher educational achievement. In the higher education context a benchmark is used to measure a level of performance, resources, or outcome against which an institution or group might be compared too. The majority of Universities of today are competing for a 'world-class statuses', these statuses are given to the universities and higher education institutions by the contribution of the students perceptions (stakeholders), scholarly citations, research and also availability of facilities and resources. The United Kingdom, to gain first class status of its universities is to convey the impression of high standards in learning, teaching, and research quality. So, ask some people question whether children at school are taught he test it can be argued whether lectures teach in the way they do for a 'status' rather then to handout knowledge within a specific topic area.

Universities and higher educational institutions are trying to be the presence of a culture, both learning and attest to its standards, world class or otherwise. Universities are now becoming global communities with the increase of students from various backgrounds and international students from abroad. The University of Manchester has more than 3,000 academic and research staff, many have an international reputation in their subjects and a good record of generating as well as sharing ideas and producing graduates who are always in demand from the world's top employers. In a sense, today's society is different to the history of the higher education as it is not what you know but whom you know nowadays. Size also seems to matter, the bigger the university, the more students/lectures from various parts of the world who are well educated and this helps to assert higher education institutions global aspirations. The downside to this is the fact that over population means that there is not much one to one discussion or attention to students in the higher education sector but as far as that goes it said that university is 10% you get from the lecture and 90% is your own reading.

Universities becoming global communities mean the increase of international students within higher education institutions and university. Clement Katulushi mentions that at the core of university lies communities, Elliot et al also states "…the modern university professes to be in time, indeed arm-in-arm, with all matter of 'communities'." However, it is engagement of various stakeholders of the university with the community of communities, cultures, filtering, refining and re firming. Higher education institutions indulge in a form of competition as previously mentioned; this is rivalry, as is the case with advent of league tables. University competes for students and reputations, for generous endowments and grants. This said there is still a significant a difference in how much international students pay to go to university in the United Kingdom and how much the home students pay. The UKCOSA is trying to reduce international tuition fees in the United Kingdom, by doing this it will have to be greatly looked at, as it may be a product of globalisation and therefore degrees being even less valuable then they are becoming today.

International students education is not only at the interest of the individual but there may be various people involved, stakeholders, such as other individuals or groups providing scholarships. This may be positive in the sense their education is funded but also difficult as they have to work hard and also when at university, they may feel they have to work overly well as they aren't funding their own education, such countries as Libya.

Some African universities like Narobi, Dars-es-Salaam, Khartoum, in West Africa, trace historical development to British universities. Higher education experts led by Sir John Lockwood reported in 1963, the Lockwood Commission were anxious "first, that university must be responsive to the real needs of the country; secondly, that it must be an institution which merit will win the respect and proper recognition of the university world" Michael J. Kelly 1999. Saying this he is sounding very similar to that of Dearing and the Dearing Report 1997, which is:

To develop the persons potential to be well equipped for work and to contribute to society

To increase knowledge and understanding for their own sake and for the economy

To serve the needs of the economy at all levels

To help shape a democratic and civilised society.

(National Committee of Inquiry into Higher Education, 1977)

Issues within higher education institutions and universities that are currently arising are those of competiveness and globalization. An example of globalisation would be that despite high numbers of overseas students studying in UK universities, the percentage of students from each country who have the opportunity to study here is very small. It is important to make learning available to more students' in particular overseas countries. Historically, this has been difficult and costly, and did not happen often.

Globalisation can be explained as, "All mankind is one Author, and one volume…No man is a peece of the Continent…any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde…" John Donne

This expression can see globalisation as the interconnectedness of the world through new systems of communication; in this way as technology advances, there are more opportunities to study via the internet or such forms. International students would find this useful as it would be cheaper yet cost more to fund the scheme. In today's society Open University is available there are over 570 courses that range from more than 50 different subjects and have widely varying levels of difficulty, this type of study is generally used for people with young children or a full time job.

Globalisation can also be defined as, "The global spread of business and services as well as key economic, social, and cultural practices to a world market, often through multi-national companies and the internet" (Rosemerry Deem, 2001)

Globalisation is an extremely contested concept in social sciences this being the fields of sociology, anthropology, economics, social science, psychology, political science, education, and history within the higher education sector. Some writers see it as a set of economic and political processes with definite outcomes, who existence can straight forwardly be supported or refuted. (Hirst and Thompson, 1996) This may be the case but even some education studies degrees are classed as a social science when it can be interpreted as an art, as there are many outcomes and ideas not just one straight forward answer, there are many arguments and interpretations of meanings/concepts to every individual, there is no sense of how to measure the answer. Others see globalisation as no more than a hypothesis, focusing as much on cultural and environmental processors and discourses, as economics and social factors. (Urry, 1998)

The view of globalisation can be interpreted differently from both an academic view versus a political one. Globalising forces have led new political approaches for example the third way, this is supposedly meant to replace social democracy, where the main form of distribution of goods and services is through the state, and the social welfare. Neo liberalism is also a globalising factor for politicians, as this is where the market replaces the state as the main appliance of distributing goods and services and social welfare reduced to a safety net. (Giddens, 1998/02)

The third way intended to offer the connection of democracy and public welfare services, this being at the interest of the people, with private sector partnerships and modernisation of public institutions i.e. Universities, to make them less bureaucratic and more responsive with consumers (the students). So, the students tell the lecturers what they want to learn, in what way etc as they are the stakeholders too and the consumers of higher education, by paying for it they should initiate the teaching style. This links in with Lyn Tetts 2006 article about stakeholders, gatekeepers, and power, in the article she discusses the fact that tutor/learners are in unequal relationships largely through "pedagogical and epistemological lenses," meaning the tutors look down at 'their' student and feel as though they have power over them. The article examines issues of power in adult education and her research based on 1000 adult literacy and numeracy (ALN) students. Although the adults being educated are also stakeholders within education this does not seem to be the case in the article and it is as though the tutors are 'babysitters' in a sense, ultimately preventing the adults voices being heard in the public world, the students are in a 'subordinate' position. It is argued that this happens in some higher education settings too today, the students are in a subordinate position to the lecturer. A Journal by Alex Douglas and Jacqueline Douglas, Liverpool John Moores University, wrote an article about campus spies, this is the reporting of the quality of teaching for the future, involving student trained/professionals in order to monitor the teaching styles of lectures and "used to monitor to students large sections of university processes and services. Monitoring whether its value for money, as the students, consumers of education pay for their education they feel they needs to be a benefit. The journal discusses the quality in higher education, how students are now liable for the payment of 'up-front' tuition fees, and arguing the fact that they should be the primary customers.

As before discussed globalisation in higher education, it involves a common value for the global community. A theoretical analysis if this would be to indicate the existence of many changes in institutions. In higher education, this might refer to changes in funding regimes, organisational/cultural changes. New forms of educational provision may be introduced in the future via the internet or bringing in of new groups of students, with varied abilities and understanding, allowing greater opportunities to all. This can be argued otherwise as the competiveness of education as today is statistics from the Guardian 2009, report show there are forty-four percent of graduate unemployment in the last 12months and now it is at its highest in twelve years. The Higher Education Careers Service Unit (HECSU) said that it could get even worse for graduates this year, and the last time the level of unemployment/joblessness was so high was in 1995/96. Mike Hill, who is the chief executive of HECSU, said, "We're now starting to see the extent of the impact the recession has had on graduate employment. Despite unemployment increasing, for those who have found a job, salary levels are holding up." (Rachel Williams, the Guardian, 2nd Nov 2009)

There are issues that determine the nature of global education relating to the evolution of the university environment in the next century:

university education as a mass production system;

information technology for distance learning;

The 'consuming' of education.

Communications and network technologies already affect the development of mass global education.

All of these effect the globalisation, the future looks towards the expansion of Universities, but will it be increasingly complemented by an expansion of partnership based applied research; and there will be a symbolic link between the two sectors, this rises the question of does it means will institutions become overly institution led or consumer led. In this case, it is institution led as it is working in partnerships with businesses and although training/teaching students they are being products to the work market, and being made into what the job market wants/expects graduates to be. There is a big thing on engagement and for example, there will be growth in universities as mentioned, managed corporate universities and other institutions and companies, which link university resources directly to the learning needs of organisations.

So in conclusion, and for the future, the expansion of higher education and its role in society will be significantly different to todays. Although some schemes of today will have an impact of the future higher education institutions. The effects of life long learning commitment, both professional organisations and to individuals, when universities partner with businesses/companies. A consequence will be more students linked to a university who are off and then on campus are "connected by high bandwidth networks and powerful interactive workstations" (A.G Wilson, 2000) Old values are rooted in being the knowledge core of society and an association concern with truth and how to find and recognise it. This idea can be linked in with the future value of teaching in higher education and the quality of education as more people are involved and there are more opportunities available to all individuals and introducing of entrepreneur schemes. With businesses working with universities it will be a hard market to get a job as even more people enter university and graduate, jobs cannot be made without purpose.