‘Judgement’ versus ‘metrics’ in higher education management


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Dono: Marcos Pedroso

Versão: 1.0

Última Atualiz.: 01-11-2018 14:45


This article argues that universities currently privilege an instrumental ethos of measurement in
the management of academic work. Such an ethos has deleterious consequences, both for
knowledge production and knowledge transfer to students. Specifically, evidence points
towards the production of increasingly well-crafted and ever more numerous research outputs
that are useful in permitting universities to posture as world class institutions but that
ultimately are of questionable social value. Additionally, the ever more granular management
of teaching and pedagogy in universities is implicated in the sacrifice of broad and deep
intellectual enquiry in favour of ostensibly more economically relevant skills that prepare
graduates for the travails of the labour market. In both cases, metric fetishization serves to
undermine nobler, socially minded visions of what a university should be. For such visions to
flourish, it is imperative that universities take steps that explicitly privilege a collegial ethos of
judgement over a managerialist ethos of measurement.

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