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School of Education

Public Events


Symposium: Student Politics in Contemporary Higher Education - Theory, Policy and Practice.

14th September 2017, 11:00 to 16:00, Collier Room, College of St. Hild & St. Bede, Durham University, Durham, DH1 1SZ, Dr Mark Murphy, Reader in Education & Public Policy, University of Glasgow. Prof Rachel Brooks, Professor of Sociology, University of Surrey. Dr Rille Raaper, Assistant Professor in Education, Durham University

Over the last few years, there has been a heated debate over higher education governance, funding and organisation in England, resulting in recently approved Higher Education and Research Act 2017. While scholarly debate has mostly focused on the perspectives of academic communities, senior managers and policy makers, this symposium aims to shift the focus to student unions and their role in higher education politics and the sector more widely. The symposium explores the ways in which student unions have engaged with higher education politics and policies over the recent years and the contradictory space they occupy. Taking a sociological perspective, the symposium also discusses the importance of social theory in exploring politics of higher education.

This symposium is organised as part of the project ‘Critical Analysis of the Higher Education Green and White Papers (2015-2016): Student Representation and Response’, funded by the British Academy with the Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain as the partner organisation. Principal Investigator: Dr Rille Raaper, Durham University.

Speakers and presentations:

Social Theory and the Politics of Higher Education

Dr Mark Murphy, Reader in Education & Public Policy, University of Glasgow

The Changing Role of Students’ Unions within Contemporary Higher Education

Prof Rachel Brooks, Professor of Sociology, University of Surrey

Students’ Unions and Consumerist Policy Discourses in English Higher Education: An Exploration of Contradictions

Dr Rille Raaper, Assistant Professor in Education, Durham University.

Please download full programme with schedule and abstracts here

This event is now fully booked. If you would like to be put on a reserve list, please contact Dr Rille Raaper,

Download this event in iCalendar format

Let's make education fairer

Durham Marriott Hotel, Old Elvet, Durham, DH1 3JN, 10th November 11 - 2pm

The North East of England is an area suffering from relatively high and chronic deprivation, where secondary schools are deemed by many to be failing their pupils. Not many young people go on to attend university, and specialist teachers are in high demand.

Come along to this event and learn about the findings of three new studies that suggest ways to improve the outcomes for disadvantaged students at school,and beyond, and increase the supply of high-quality teachers to areas of high demand. After academics have presented their research there will be a free buffet lunch, where you will have the chance to ask questions and speak to presenters.

Further information