Title: Life after death? The Soviet system in British higher education
Author: Hugo Radice
Address: School of Politics and International Studies, University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT, UK
Journal: Int. J. of Management Concepts and Philosophy, 2008 Vol.3, No.2, pp.99 - 120
Abstract: Recent studies of British higher education (HE) have focused on the application of the principles of the 'new managerialism' in the public sector, ostensibly aimed at improving the effectiveness of research and teaching, and also on the increasing commercialisation of HE. This article examines HE management in the light of the historical experience of the Soviet system of economic planning. Analogies with the dysfunctional effects of the Soviet system are elaborated with regard to financial planning and the systems of quality control in academic research and teaching. It is argued that Soviet-style management systems have paradoxically accompanied the growing market orientation of HE, undermining traditional professional values and alternative models of engagement between HE institutions and the wider society.
Keywords: central planning; financial planning; UK higher education; knowledge production; new managerialism; quality control; United Kingdom; Soviet system; academic research; teaching; market orientation; commercialisation.