IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eme/srjpps/v5y2009i4p566-574.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

A journey into silence: students, stakeholders and the impact of a strategic governmental policy document in the UK

Author

Listed:
  • Sandra Sinfield
  • Debbie Holley
  • Tom Burns

Abstract

Purpose - In the UK, higher education (HE) is being positioned as the new global business, and the power relations between its various stakeholders – society, the business community, management, staff, students – makes this not only uncharted, but also contested ground. This paper aims to map the new terrain with a focus on, and analysis of, one key government policy document: The Harnessing Technology (2005). Design/methodology/approach - Critical theory and textual analysis are used to research and analyse power relations as inscribed in policy discourse – the structures, the language, and the voices. The document is explored particularly in relation to its impact on prime stakeholders within the new contexts of today's HE; a HE that is embracing information communications technology (e-learning) – “for business”. Findings - Harnessing Technology boasts a heteroglossia and the capturing of many authentic voices in its composition which should open up a dialogic between its stakeholders; in fact power is revealed as refined, unified – deferring to centralised authority. Textual analysis reveals HE as a journey into silence for the student as stakeholder, where the voices that are not repressed are those with economic and institutional power. This analysis shows the student is constructed as either silent or deficit and the conclusions suggest that rather than a discourse of transformation, “regulation not education”, is the real goal of the dominant educational stakeholders. Originality/value - The critical approach to policy analysis in the paper can be adapted by others seeking to critique policy in a variety of different policy contexts. This is particularly significant where policy is not interrogated, but where nevertheless it influences institutional mission statements and the seepage pollutes practice.

Suggested Citation

  • Sandra Sinfield & Debbie Holley & Tom Burns, 2009. "A journey into silence: students, stakeholders and the impact of a strategic governmental policy document in the UK," Social Responsibility Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 5(4), pages 566-574, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eme:srjpps:v:5:y:2009:i:4:p:566-574
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/10.1108/17471110910995401?utm_campaign=RePEc&WT.mc_id=RePEc
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eme:srjpps:v:5:y:2009:i:4:p:566-574. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Louise Lister). General contact details of provider: http://www.emeraldinsight.com .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.