CGHE 2020 Annual Conference webinar: The public good of higher education

14th July 2020 : 14:00 - 15:00

Category: Webinar

Research Group: Higher Education

Speaker: Rajani Naidoo, University of Bath. Talita Calitz, University of Pretoria. Futao Huang, Hiroshima Universit

Location: Online

Convener: Simon Marginson

Audience: Public

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the 2020 CGHE conference did not go ahead as planned on 1 April at Senate House, University of London. Instead we are bringing to a larger worldwide audience the pick of this year’s conference discussion as a webinar series. The fifth webinar in the conference paper series focuses on the public good of higher education.

Rajani Naidoo from the University of Bath and Talita Calitz of University of Pretoria will focus on the global South, analysing the case study of higher education in South Africa as a potent force for social transformation. Futao Huang from Hiroshima University will then discuss common goods in Japan, utilising insights from interviews with 16 key stakeholders at two different national Japanese universities.


Seminar Abstract

Higher Education and the Public Good: Insights from the South

Rajani Naidoo, University of Bath

Talita Calitz, University of Pretoria

Funding, power relations and policy regimes entrench the belief that innovation in higher education travels in a one-way direction from rich western nations to the global South. However, this static picture of western dominance has been disrupted by patterns of inequality occurring within and across national systems of higher education worldwide. Drawing from a cross-country CGHE project on higher education in South Africa, we deploy South Africa as an illustrative case of how other national contexts can gain inspiration from the South. The scale of inequality in South Africa and the high visibility of the challenges creates fertile ground for innovative policy interventions, particularly on access and success. In addition, the role of the university as a force for social transformation and as a key contributor to the public good is kept alive by key policy actors. While major challenges remain, the policy interventions presented here highlight the shortcomings of neoliberal reform, and open up space to imagine alternative policy responses in other contexts

Public and Common Goods in Japan’s Higher Education

Futao Huang, Hiroshima University

This paper discusses CGHE project research into the role of Japan’s higher education as a producer of public and common goods, drawing on findings from semi-structured interviews with 16 policy makers, presidents of national professional associations, institutional leaders, deans and professors from contrasting disciplines, and administrators from two different national universities in Japan. The paper also discusses the role of the government and relations between the government and higher education institutions. It identifies the main challenges Japan faces in relation to the contributions of higher education in terms of public and common goods, and how these outcomes of higher education can be optimised.


About The Speakers

Professor Rajani Naidoo is CGHE Research Associate and Director of the International Centre for Higher Education Management (ICHEM) at the University of Bath. She has a UNESCO Chair in Higher Education Management and is Visiting Professor at Nelson Mandela University in South Africa. She researches transformations in global political economy and change in higher education with a focus on competition and markets, new forms of imperialism, the changing nature of academic work and the contribution of universities to global wellbeing. She sits on the research and development steering committee of the European Foundation for Management Development and on editorial boards including the British Journal of Sociology of Education, Philosophy and Theory in Higher Education and the International Journal of Sociology of Education

Talita Calitz is a senior lecturer at the Department of Education Management and Policy Studies at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. Talita completed her doctoral research and a postdoctoral research fellowship under the SARChI Chair in Higher Education and Human Development, at the University of the Free State, South Africa. She is involved in a number of funded research projects related to equality, human development and social justice in higher education. During her postdoctoral fellowship, she has awarded the CICOPS scholarship for collaborative research at the University of Pavia, Italy, in 2017. The focus of her doctoral research was on the experiences of socio-economically vulnerable undergraduate students in South Africa, which won the SAERA doctoral dissertation award. In 2014, Talita was awarded a Siyaphumelela Scholarship (funded by the Kresge Foundation) for her participatory research. Talita’s current research project is the implementation of a Faculty-based student engagement strategy for vulnerable undergraduate students. Talita’s monograph was published in 2019. Enhancing the Freedom to Flourish in Higher Education brings critical social theory to the problem of unequal participation so as to challenge the invisible and implicit forms of inequality found within higher education student narratives in the Global South.

Futao Huang is professor at the Research Institute for Higher Education, Hiroshima University, Japan. Before he came to Japan in 1999, he taught and conducted research in several Chinese universities. His research interests include internationalization of higher education, the academic profession, and higher education in East Asia. He has published widely in Chinese, English and Japanese languages.