Research Repository

See what's under the surface

Universities, the public good and professional education in the UK

East, Linda; Stokes, Rebecca; Walker, Melanie

Authors

Linda East

Rebecca Stokes

Melanie Walker

Abstract

In times of economic uncertainty, questions of the purpose and value of higher education come to the fore. Such questions have particular relevance when directed towards the preparation of professionally qualified graduates who might be expected to contribute to the public good. However, definitions of the public good are contested and the role of higher education is unclear. This interview-based study contributes to the debate by taking a professional capabilities index (PCI) generated in South Africa and interrogating it in the UK context. The PCI is oriented towards poverty reduction and is grounded in the human development and capabilities approach, an agenda to which UK respondents were broadly sympathetic although with differences in emphasis. This article argues that, if we are to move beyond a narrow economic understanding of the public good and a purely instrumental understanding of graduate ‘attributes’, the human development and capabilities approach has much to offer.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date May 31, 2013
Journal Studies in Higher Education
Print ISSN 0307-5079
Electronic ISSN 0307-5079
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Institution Citation East, L., Stokes, R., & Walker, M. (2013). Universities, the public good and professional education in the UK. Studies in Higher Education, doi:10.1080/03075079.2013.801421
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/03075079.2013.801421
Publisher URL http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03075079.2013.801421#.Uzvu56hdVrI
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0

Files

studiesinhighered.pdf (151 Kb)
PDF

Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0




Downloadable Citations