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    Who will disrupt the disruptors?

    Eve, Martin Paul (2015) Who will disrupt the disruptors? In: SCONUL Winter Meeting, 27th November 2015, The Wellcome Collection, London, UK. (Unpublished)

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    Richard Branson recently convened an event entitled “The Future of Education”, marketed as “Richard Branson disrupts the future of education”. Noting that his own experience of education had been substandard, but evidently seeing himself as a model of what education should produce, Branson seems to have decided that the time is ripe for market intervention. From the marketing blurb through to the assumed purpose of education here, it is clear that it's all about “Richard Branson”, the disruptive innovator. Notably, however, tickets to Branson's event cost £250 per head, a figure that signposts a question of whether market interventions into education are truly disruptive or innovative. Indeed, the majority of models of disruptive innovation in HE seem premised on ever-increasing degrees of personal expenditure from students flowing towards for-profit institutions. By all accounts, though, this is the status quo, not innovation. In times of massive student debt, innovation might be finding a model for free higher education. That might be truly disruptive. In this presentation I will discuss how mission-driven institutions, such as libraries and universities, might develop economic models that allow free access to research and teaching. Drawing on a range of case studies, including my own Open Library of Humanities but also extending to teaching institutions like the Social Science Centre and the Cooperative Universities project, I will posit that these types of undertaking are far more radical and disruptive than Branson's state-sponsored interventions. While this is, also, not the type of “alternative provider” that recent government rhetoric appears to favour, I will suggest that under such a scheme we might find a space for beneficent disrupting projects to adopt a more mainstream position.


    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Keynote)
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Creative Arts, Culture and Communication
    Research Centres and Institutes: Contemporary Literature, Centre for
    Depositing User: Martin Eve
    Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2015 20:22
    Last Modified: 09 Aug 2023 12:37


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