Quantification, risk, and the rhetoric of higher education management
This essay is a contribution to the literature (jf' critique of higher education policy and management. It offers a general discussion of problems arising from the proliferation of mechanisms of audit and quality assurance within the context of concerns about dependence on quantitative measures afvalues. It argues that uncritical dependence on quantification not only masks but exacerbates problems in higher education. The essay understands quantification as an attempt to deal with anxiety, an anxiety charged by the declining position of' western economies, and as a reflection of panicked attempts to respond to the demands of students as consumers.
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