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Globalisation, neo-liberalism and vocational learning: the case of English further education colleges

Simmons, Robin (2010) Globalisation, neo-liberalism and vocational learning: the case of English further education colleges. Research in Post-Compulsory Education, 15 (4). pp. 363-376. ISSN 1359-6748

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Abstract

Further education (FE) has traditionally been a rather unspectacular activity. Lacking the visibility of schools or the prestige of universities, for the vast majority of its existence FE has had a relatively low profile on the margins of English education. Over recent years this situation has altered significantly and further education has undergone profound change. This paper argues that a combination of related factors – neo-liberalism, globalisation, and dominant discourses of the knowledge economy – has acted in synergy to transform FE into a highly performative and marketised sector. Against this backdrop, further education has been assigned a particular role based upon certain narrow and instrumental understandings of skill, employment and economic competitiveness. The paper argues that, although it has always been predominantly working class in nature, FE is now, more than ever, positioned firmly at the lower end of the institutional hierarchy in the highly class-stratified terrain of English education.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an electronic version of an article published in Research in Post-Compulsory Education, 15 (4), 363-376. Research in Post-Compulsory Education is available online at: http://www.informaworld.com/openurl?genre=article&issn=1359%2d6748&volume=15&issue=4&spage=363
Uncontrolled Keywords: further education; England; globalisation, neo-liberalism
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Schools: School of Education and Professional Development
School of Education and Professional Development > Centre of Lifelong Learning and Social Justice
School of Education and Professional Development > Centre of Lifelong Learning and Social Justice > Policy Research Group
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Robin Simmons
Date Deposited: 21 Dec 2010 09:59
Last Modified: 24 Aug 2015 11:30
URI: http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/id/eprint/9220

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