Understanding Contemporary Issues in Higher Education : Contradictions, Complexities and Challenges book cover
1st Edition

Understanding Contemporary Issues in Higher Education
Contradictions, Complexities and Challenges

Edited By

Brendan Bartram

ISBN 9780367374150
Published October 30, 2020 by Routledge
182 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This insightful book offers a wide-ranging collection of lively discussions on contemporary issues, policies and practices in higher education. Bartram integrates contributions from experienced academics, teachers and students in a unique approach and structure, designed to enable students with both specific and wide-ranging interests in higher education to extend their understanding.

Including discussion points, research tasks and suggestions on further reading in each chapter, Understanding Contemporary Issues in Higher Education discusses a range of topics, such as:

  • universities and the mental health ‘crisis’;
  • knowledge, the state and the market;
  • the role of technology in teaching and academic celebrification;
  • disability, diversity and inclusive placement learning.

Written specifically for Education Studies students, this book constitutes a timely addition to student-focused themed studies looking at aspects of higher education.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Higher Education: Change, churn and challenges

Brendan Bartram

Chapter 2 Changing Notions of Risk: The realities of studying in a post-92 university

Bethany Sumner

Chapter 3 Transitioning from Higher Education Stories from students in a STEM discipline

Sinead D’Silva and Samantha Pugh

Chapter 4 ‘Academics online’: Self-promotion, competition and celebrification

Brendan Bartram

Chapter 5 Higher standards and better-informed students or false promises and ‘gaming’ the system? Competition, metrics and the consumerism of students in UK higher education

Mark Elliot

Chapter 6 Weaving through the Web: How students navigate information online in the twenty-first century

Carol Bailey, Hazel Bowley and Jodi Withers

Chapter 7 Academic Diversity and its Implications for Teaching and Learning

Anesa Hosein and Namrata Rao

Chapter 8 Let’s keep it casual? Rising precarity and acts of resistance in UK universities

Esther Muddiman, Rowan Campbell and Grace Krause

Chapter 9 Meanings, Models and Muddles: Two tales of the pursuit of teaching excellence

Tanya Hathaway and Namrata Rao

Chapter 10 Mental Health and Wellbeing in Higher Education

Clare Dickens

Chapter 11 The Development of Knowledge in the Modern and Postmodern Universities

Stephen Ward

Chapter 12 Disability, Diversity and Inclusive Placement Learning

Stephanie Brewster and David Thompson

Chapter 13 How to Promote Real Equality in Higher Education

Ruth Mieschbuehler

Chapter 14 Higher Education: Contemplating the contradictions, complexities and challenges

Brendan Bartram

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Brendan Bartram is Reader in Education at the University of Wolverhampton, UK.


'At the time of writing my endorsement of this fascinating book, the 2020 global Covid-19 pandemic is creating profound uncertainty about which universities will survive and new questions about who they are for and what, and how, to teach in them. The timely publication of this thought-provoking and wide-ranging book will enable readers to locate the fallout from the pandemic in a longer history of constant change, growing government regulation, risk, precariousness and fluctuating educational and social tensions around diversity, well-being and participation in the British higher education system.' - Kathryn Ecclestone, retired professor of education and co-author of The Dangerous Rise of Therapeutic Education, published in 2008 and reissued in 2018 as part of Routledge’s Classics in Education series


'This book provides a thorough overview and analysis of contemporary trends and issues in higher education, focusing on many of the tensions and contradictions that are embedded in universities today. It will inspire and motivate further discussion and debate on key issues in the field. As higher education continues to adapt to new challenges and opportunities, Understanding Contemporary Issues in Higher Education is essential reading for students and researchers alike.' - Professor Robin Shields, School of Education, University of Bristol, UK