The green paper marks a key point in the Government’s struggle to create a market in higher education, and it lays waste to the idea of academia as a public service. Remembrance Sunday marks a moment to reflect on the struggles of the past.  War can be both futile and necessary at the same time. […]

Resistances of the Psycho-political

Posted: Thursday 01 Oct 2015
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If the publication last year of Slavoj Zizek’s doctoral thesis in English translation was intended to lend additional scholarly weight to the project of reading psychoanalytic categories into structures of philosophical and political thought, is it nevertheless possible to identify a psychoanalytic category that is not susceptible to such elaboration, one that might therefore be used to trace the limit of this kind of reading? … Phobia is not just a contested topic in psychoanalysis, but instead points to the ‘self-eating’ form it takes. Put differently, what we are calling ‘phobia’ names an irreducible heterogeneity that inhabits and destabilises the ‘politics’ of psychoanalysis from the outset. What this might teach us about the complexity of reading philosophical texts or political situations in terms of psychoanalytic categories may be all too clear, and yet it warrants a vigilance whose end is difficult to foresee.

Welcome to Toryland  As British pollsters take a long hard look at themselves in the mirror, the nation is presented with what only a few months ago seemed to be the least likely outcome of this general election, a majority Conservative government. Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage have all resigned as party leaders […]

To my mind higher education in the former Yugoslavia has been diminished as a result of repeated separation. Criticality has been replaced by the nationalist imaginary and liberal education is turning to vocationalism. Where once, academics benchmarked themselves against the elite of Europe, now international reach is measured against near neighbours. Despite this the former Yugoslavia continues to produce world-class scholars in the humanities, as a result of a philosophical tradition that runs deep. The task for critical thinkers in the future is surely to challenge the sovereignty of the market in a globalized world rather than to affirm the sovereignty of people and places.

Labour and the Vice Chancellors

Posted: Monday 07 Apr 2014
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Martin McQuillan writes: Any vice-chancellor wondering what to do with his or her most recent double-digit pay rise this Grand National weekend could try a flutter on the outcome of the next general election. Bookmakers are noted for seldom losing money and, in the opinion of both William Hill and Paddy Power, the most likely […]

Martin McQuillan T’was the weeks before Christmas and Gideon Scrooge sat in his office at the great Chancellery in the heart of London town. Gideon was a man of austerity. He was known for his dislike of excess of any kind. He was not a man to be swayed by the plight of the unemployed, […]

Into the long grass

Posted: Monday 28 Oct 2013
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Martin McQuillan After ministerial reshuffles by the three main parties and with 18 months to go before a general election, what now for the policy prospects of higher education? David Willetts, the universities and science minister, appears poised to achieve the unique distinction of serving in his post for the entire lifetime of a parliament. […]

Going into Labour

Posted: Tuesday 24 Sep 2013
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Going into Labour As the Labour Party gathers in Brighton for its annual conference, Martin McQuillan reviews its policy options for universities. Officially the Labour Party is still in policy review mode when it comes to higher education. In reality the window on reflection and consultation is closing quickly in advance of the next election […]

Gold Rush

Posted: Tuesday 05 Mar 2013
by Professor Martin McQuillan 0 comments

In a guest blog for the London Graduate School, the editors of the Open Library of the Humanities, Martin Eve and Caroline Edwards, outline some of the issues surrounding Open Access, and explain how their project is responding to them.

Academocalypse Now: time to wake up and smell the napalm

Posted: Friday 21 Sep 2012
by Professor Martin McQuillan 0 comments

The effect of QE (the government borrowing money from the Bank of England, which it owns) is to write off government debt because if you borrow from yourself you can repay at your leisure, or not at all, since no real money has changed hands. For a few billion more on a £650bn QE plan there would have been no need for £9,000 tuition fees and everything that has fallen out from them. This is once again an example of how rushed and botched the fees strategy was rather than ‘the best policy in the circumstances’.