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Prof Charlie Husband: research seminar on the neo-liberal university

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Charlie Husband after his seminar, with Honours student Kirsten Marsh (who has been selected to study in Finland in semester 2, 2015). Photo: Jenny Blomqvist

As part of a very successful fortnight in New Zealand discussing inclusive journalism and deepening the IJI project’s links, Prof Charlie Husband gave a talk at Canterbury University on 18 February about the threat of the neo-liberal university to social change.

Prof Husband is a professor in the Swedish School of Social Science at the University of Helsinki.

In his paper, called ‘A Dangerous Collusion: University Research and Policy on Ethnic Relations In a Neo-Liberal Era’, he argued that the retreat from treating knowledge as a public good, combined with the micro-management of highly individualised academics, was seriously distorting what people studied and how they did it. He critiqued in particular the collusion of academics with this shift and the autonomy they were allowing to be lost.

That autonomy, he added, was central to the deeper commitment towards others in society which underpinned ethical research that could contribute to social change.

Our thanks to Charlie for his visit and his enormous generosity with his time while in New Zealand. He also spoke at AUT University.

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