Competitive Accountability in Academic Life

The Struggle for Social Impact and Public Legitimacy

Richard Watermeyer ,

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Competitive Accountability in Academic Life: The Struggle for Social Impact and Public Legitimacy

About the eBook

Since the onset of the UK's Research Excellence Framework in 2014, the environment for academic research has changed dramatically. Competitive Accountability in Academic Life goes behind the scenes of the 'impact' policy agenda for higher education research and interrogates the effects of the new framework on academic research.

Richard Watermeyer dissects how a new requirement to evidence the economic and societal impact of research has created a culture of intense competitiveness in UK universities. Through the eyes of both those responsible for the REF and those working under its gaze, the author locates the gross deceit spawned from a culture of competitive accountability in UK universities. This challenging book reconceptualises the public role of researchers, posing a new effort to progress the neoliberal malaise by signposting peripheral zones of participation - and non-participation - as viable intellectual alternatives to the university.

Both groundbreaking and provocative, Watermeyer's book is critical reading for academics working not just in the UK, but also internationally. The author's crucial insight into modern higher education will also prove indispensable to higher education policy makers looking to innovate and refine education policy, and to university administrators overseeing performance management systems.

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