Is Browne the Colour of Mud?

By Peter Stone and Michele Westhead.

Published by The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Educational Studies

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

At present, the reform of higher education in the United Kingdom is largely guided by a report entitled “Securing a Sustainable Future for Higher Education” (2010), commonly known as the Browne Report. According to this report, higher education reform should be guided by three values: participation, quality, and sustainability. However, critics have argued that the Report fails to demonstrate how economic and social values are to be pursued simultaneously. This paper shows how the Browne Report’s discussion of two critical concepts—participation and access—reflects this tension. A satisfactory reconciliation of economic and social values requires a theoretical account of what participation and access mean, one that can be operationalized and tested. Without such an account, the full implications of the Browne Report will remain muddy.

Keywords: Browne Report, Participation, Access

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Educational Studies, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp.53-62. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 158.122KB).

Dr. Peter Stone

Ussher Lecturer, Political Science, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland, Ireland

Peter Stone received his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Rochester in 2000. He taught political theory at Stanford University for seven years before becoming Faculty Fellow at Tulane University’s Center for Ethics and Public Affairs. He is currently Ussher Lecturer of Political Science at Trinity College Dublin. He is the author of The Luck of the Draw: The Role of Lotteries in Decision-Making (Oxford University Press, 2011) and the editor of Lotteries in Public Life: A Reader (Imprint Academic, 2011). He has also published articles in such journals as the Journal of Political Philosophy, the Journal of Theoretical Politics, Political Theory, Rationality and Society, and Social Theory and Practice. His research concerns the scope and limits of human reason, and the implications of these limits for our understanding of justice, democracy, and rationality.

Dr. Michele Westhead

Assistant Director of the Kings Learning Institute-Senior Lecturer in Higher Education, Kings Learning Institute, Kings College London, UK and Pearson College, UK, London, UK

Dr. Michele Westhead is Vice Principal (Education and Research) at Pearson College, UK and Head of Educational Development and Research, Senior Lecturer in Nursing and Midwifery, Florence Nightingale School of Nursing and Midwifery, Kings College London, UK. She originally trained as a nurse and midwife and practised for 10 years until moving into the teaching of health and social care in higher, further and secondary education. She holds a Doctorate in Education awarded by the University of Surrey. She also has an MSc in Clinical Studies and Education and a PGCE from the Brighton University, a Postgraduate Diploma and professional qualifications in both nursing and midwifery from the University of Manchester. Her particular area of interest is in curriculum design, and she has a portfolio of developmental work ranging from Foundation Degrees in Education, Health and Social Care to a Masters and Professional Doctorate in Education. Her teaching interests are predominantly in (clinical) pedagogy, curriculum, professional education, research methods and philosophy of social science research. Michele teaches on the Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP) and Masters in Clinical Pedagogy (MA Clin Ped) programmes and is also a PhD supervisor. Michele’s research expertise is in the conceptualisation and exploration of professional knowledge and curriculum development. Her doctoral thesis was a phenomenological case study of the experiences of students who were working as classroom assistants whilst undertaking a bespoke teacher education programme. She focussed on how their ‘cultural capital’ as non-traditional students, such as gender, class, cultural identity, maturity, past educational experience and previous/enduring occupational identity as a teaching assistant impacted upon their personal, academic and professional development as a teacher. Other research interests stemming from the doctoral work include developing methodological approaches to capturing and responding to student experience, inter-disciplinary/ multi-professional education, professional doctorates and work-based professional learning.