Author: Alex Miles is Deputy Director of Communications, Advocacy & Global Affairs at the University of Nottingham.
Notes: Framing of the idea of the civic role of universities in the context of the UK obsession with Excellence Frameworks. Plays with the idea of a “Civic Excellence Framework” including many aspects of cultural engagement with communities, quality of staff experience, and salary levels.
Snippet: The public value and civic role of universities have, over the last 18 months, become a major topic of debate.
This national conversation has emerged in response to pressure from three sources. The first is societal pressure on the purpose and utility of universities. The second is internal pressure – illustrated by pay and pension disputes – but underpinned by longer-term unease about marketisation and reforms of higher education. The third pressure, exerted by politicians and regulators who detect that universities are losing the consent of the public to continue to operate – with independence – in the manner we have been.