John Brennan

John Brennan
The Open University (UK) · Open University Business School

About

60
Publications
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Publications

Publications (60)
Chapter
The relationships being explored in this book can only be understood in the context of wider economic and policy shifts at global and European levels, which have dramatically altered the ways in which universities are understood and managed. It seems a long ago, distant mythical age when universities were somehow expected to dedicate themselves to...
Chapter
There are significant differences in the local and regional roles of universities in the UK. These reflect differences between the individual universities themselves and in the characteristics of their regional contexts. They reflect both differences in intentions and differences in circumstances. But there are also some similarities in the regiona...
Chapter
A defining feature of a university has always been the ‘universal’ nature of the knowledge that it creates and transmits. Today, within so-called global knowledge societies, some of the claims to universalism arguably become even stronger, in the context of growth in both international labour and student mobility, and as a consequence of new forms...
Chapter
In the previous chapter, we set out the wider international or global context within which policy developments in the UK have to be understood. This book focuses on the UK case, not as a more or less universal model, but as a case from which it may be possible to draw wider lessons within an increasingly globalised higher education system. In this...
Chapter
The chapter draws on findings from the project’s four case studies to critically assess the contribution of universities to their regional economic development through three lenses. The first of these relates to the particular economic and development initiatives that universities are involved in and which are explicitly targeted at economic growth...
Chapter
In this chapter, we consider whether a local higher education presence contributes to redressing social inequalities or whether it perpetuates or even reinforces existing patterns of social disadvantage within its region. We explore how the case study universities identified and addressed social disadvantage in their regional contexts. Areas covere...
Chapter
This chapter further develops aspects of the discussion introduced in Chap. 4 by shifting the focus from economic development and regeneration to related but distinct questions about image and culture. At its simplest, this is reflected in the relationship between universities and the ‘image’ of the places within which they are located. The greater...
Chapter
There are many activities of universities which are intended to ‘make a difference’ to the communities that surround them. Some focus on the economic well-being of a region as a whole. Some are directed at particular areas or groups within a region, reflecting perceived special needs or relative disadvantage. Some university activities will be a re...
Chapter
The prospects of regional partnerships may have been successfully boosted by public policies and economic circumstances of the past two decades, but the notion of public and community ‘engagement’, often understood at local level, has always been a distinctive mission associated with universities. In recent years, discourses of engagement have also...
Book
This book sets out to understand the significance of geographical context – place – for universities in the globalised setting of the twenty-first century. It examines their social impact on the regions in which they are situated, both from the perspectives of the universities themselves and from the perspectives of a range of different local and r...
Chapter
This last chapter of the book uses an analytical approach in which academics’ demographics, career and self-understanding (values and perspectives) is understood to be a non-linear and complex function of the country in which academics work, the regulations and policies regarding higher education, and the specific institutions in which they work. A...
Chapter
As an introduction to the book, this chapter presents a short justification for the study of academics' personal characteristics, career trajectories, sense of identity/commitment and job satisfaction. The central argument is that as academics are the individuals in charge of the teaching, research and service functions of higher education institut...
Chapter
Within and across many expanded and diversified higher education systems, the recognition and understanding of differences between institutions becomes especially challenging. Forms of both ‘vertical’ and ‘horizontal’ differentiation frequently exist alongside each other, though with increasing attention given to the former. Institutional boundarie...
Book
The book draws on the 2007 Changing Academic Profession international survey in order to document the personal characteristics, career trajectories, sense of identity/commitment and job satisfaction of academics in 14 countries with different levels of economic and social development and different higher education systems. With nearly 26,000 academ...
Book
The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is being introduced by the Higher Education Funding Council for England as the new system for assessing the quality of research in United Kingdom higher education institutions. It will replace the existing Research Assessment Exercise (RAE). The aim of this chapter is to discuss the policy intentions of resea...
Article
The paper considers the growing diversity of higher education systems and institutions by exploring three main trends of expansion, differentiation and globalisation together with linked features concerning new forms of governance and more responsive relationships with other social institutions. At the heart of this expansion and differentiation ar...
Book
An exploration of the social and organisational diversity of UK HE (based on a institution study) examining implications for teaching and learning.
Book
What is learned in universities today? Is it what students expect to learn? Is it what universities say they learn? How far do the answers to questions such as these differ according to what, where and how one studies? As higher education has expanded, it has diversified both in terms of its institutional forms and the characteristics of its studen...
Article
Full-text available
This report draws on a substantial body of research undertaken by the Open University’s Centre for Higher Education Research and Information (CHERI) on the changing relationships between higher education and society. Higher education currently faces many changes, some externally driven by government policies and changing patterns of social and econ...
Article
Full-text available
The paper compares the early employment experiences of graduates from the shorter UK bachelors degree with those from the somewhat longer masters programmes to be found in continental Europe. The UK graduates appear to be less prepared for entry to employment and to find their degrees to be less appropriate to that employment. However, many of the...
Chapter
The main focus of this paper is the current non-university higher education institutions in the UK. They are a diverse bunch. A few are ‘universities in waiting’. But most will not expect such promotion, even if the criteria for university status continue to change. But before describing these institutions, it is necessary to set the context provid...
Article
Full-text available
The study, undertaken between March and November 2005 aimed to inform HEFCE thinking on developing a strategy for workplace learning by: exploring the nature, purposes and outcomes of workplace learning; considering workplace learning within the broader relationships between the worlds of work and learning; exploring emerging changes in higher educ...
Article
This chapter examines the current uses of alumni studies in the United Kingdom and outlines their challenges and limitations to informing policy and curriculum reform.
Article
About the book: In this book, an international group of leading higher education researchers draw on a wealth of social theory and comparative, empirical research to analyse current developments and their implications. Different contributions focus on different levels of higher education, the system, the institution and the academic practitioner, i...
Article
The purpose of this Guide is to help higher education institutions make the best use of their student feedback. This guide is based on a HEFCE funded project undertaken by the Centre for Higher Education Research and Information (CHERI). The purpose of this Guide is to help higher education institutions make the best use of their student feedback....
Article
This report was prepared for the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) by a project team comprising SQW Limited, the Centre for Higher Education Research and Information (CHERI) at the Open University and NOP Research Group. The study had two main components: to identify good practice by higher education institutions (HEIs) in collec...
Article
This edited collection attempts a challenging task – to explore the place that higher education plays, and has potential to play, in a lifelong learning context that is both lifelong and lifewide. An introduction argues for the strengthening of the tripartite core university functions –research, teaching and service – but in new ways that embrace n...
Article
This detailed report considers the experience of students from disadvantaged backgrounds, indicated by social class, ethnicity, age, and gender, as they leave university and the extent to which earlier disadvantages, evident when entering higher education, remain and how these may be mitigated by other factors such as entry qualifications, degree c...
Article
Full-text available
This report has been prepared for the Higher Education Funding Council for England using data collected as part of a study commissioned by the European Commission through its Targeted Socio-Economic Research Programme. The study was completed in November 2000 and the international project report has been submitted to the Commission. Other reports a...
Article
The paper draws on an international study of the effects of national and institutional quality management systems on higher education institutions in 14 countries. The study was undertaken by the authors on behalf of the programme for Institutional Management in Higher Education (IMHE) of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (...
Article
Incl. abstract, graphs, bibl. The last few years have seen a growing debate and new initiatives by government and other agencies on the concept of lifelong learning. The objectives of these have been to provide better access to a broad knowledge base and to develop individuals' employability and economic success. But lifelong learning is not a new...
Article
Based on the International Conference "What Kind Of University?", London, 18-20 June 1997. Incl. bibl., index
Article
The paper considers the consequences, intended and unintended, of the present arrangements for the assurance of quality of teaching and research in British higher education. It proposes an alternative approach, based on the concept of clinical audit as applied to the National Health Service. The advantages of such an approach are claimed to lie in...
Article
This article examines the changing relationship between higher education and the state in the United Kingdom during a period of rapid higher education expansion and diversification. The roles, respectively, of the academic community, the labour market, and government in the steering of this relationship are considered. The paper concludes that, alt...
Article
Full-text available
The idea of work based learning in higher education might sound like a contradiction in terms. Work based learning is surely in the the workplace. The senses in which it might also, under certain conditions, be in higher education are explored in this review. There are increasing arrangements whereby people can obtain academic recognition for learn...
Chapter
This chapter provides an overview of the higher education policy in the United Kingdom. The British higher education system is characterized by its binary structure. However, although it is conventional to emphasize the binary division, by international standards most of the institutions, whatever their binary origins, offer a similar type of highe...
Article
Two surveys involving approximately 8,000 university and polytechnic institute graduates in Germany and the United Kingdom were conducted to analyze employment; income; position and status; work assignments; gender differences; and influence of type of institution, subject of study, and socioeconomic background. Experiences of British and German gr...
Article
As higher education begins to operate increasingly in a European framework, consequences for the assurance of quality in higher education are bound to become evident. A pilot study to develop a methodology for the comparison of quality across different higher education systems is described. The project involved comparison of ten study programmes in...
Book
Aims to rescue a usable interpretation of the vocational theory in higher education by describing the historical and policy frameworks of the debate.
Chapter
There are currently nearly 2 million students studying in the UK’s 167 higher education institutions. This reflects substantial growth and diversification during the 1990s. Of the more than 160 institutions, 132 are in England of which 77 are universities, 14 are general colleges and 41 are specialist colleges, e.g. in music or art and design. Ther...
Article
'Report on the Implementation of Progress Files' summarises the findings of a sector-wide survey on progress in the implementation and use of transcripts and personal development planning in higher education. The report, by John Brennan and Tarla Shah of the Centre for Higher Education Research and Information (CHERI), was commissioned by the Progr...
Article
Full-text available
From the Executive Summary: Executive Summary The project 1. The project on which this report is based brought together more than 25 researchers from 15 countries in Central and Eastern Europe, sub-Saharan Africa (including South Africa), Central Asia and Latin America. Its aim was to increase understanding of the various ways in which universities...
Article
This report provides English departments with information about the employment patterns and prospects of their graduates and suggests ways in which these might be enhanced. The report uses data gathered on English graduates three to four years after graduating. It shows that English graduates do take about four years to ‘find their feet’ on the car...
Article
About the book: This volume presents a rich account of the development of accreditation and evaluation in 20 European countries. The authors are leaders in the field and they have cooperated in this effort by writing richly different, often deep and insightful analyses of the situation in their country. The two editors have added a synopsis detaili...
Article
Incl. bibliographical references, glossary, index, biographical notes on the authors. Association of European Rectors, CRE, pp. 171-197 must be replaced by Association of European Universities, CRE