Recovering the political in the idea of education as a public good – and why this matters

By Susan Robertson

Exploring the roles of non-state education providers in Myanmar: contributions to reform, peace education and inclusion

An interesting event with CPGJ member Liz Maber as discussant:

Date: 25th April 2018

Time: 4-5pm

Location: GS1, Donald McIntyre Building, Faculty of Education

Speaker: Daw May Pale’ Thwe (Pearl)

Discussant: Dr Liz Maber

In this seminar, May Pale’ Thwe (Pearl) will discuss the context of Myanmar’s education reforms and her own work as an education provider, trainer and advocate. Highlighting the roles and contributions of non-state education providers in this diverse educational landscape, she will reflect on the current and potential opportunities for peace education and inclusive education practices.

May Pale’ Thwe is a widely experienced educator in Myanmar: the founder and vice-president of the Smile Education and Development Foundation, and president of Smile Education Training Institute, a vice-president of Myanmar-United States Friendship Association, a SIT teacher trainer, an Instructor of ICOE John Hopkins University, Yangon University, a coordinator for the Myanmar Council of Persons with Disabilities, a mentor of Myanmar Women Mentorship Network, a Senior National Education Researcher, and a prominent advocate in Myanmar’s current education reform discussions.

The USS strike and the winter of academics’ discontent

Long read from Times Higher Education featuring commentary from our member, Dr Jana Bacevic. Read the full article here

“Pensions became a potent – if somewhat unlikely – symbol for how academic leaders imagine the development of higher education: high-risk investment in the ‘student experience’ and declining investment in people,” explains Jana Bacevic, a postdoctoral fellow in the University of Cambridge’s Faculty of Education.

Bacevic, a sociologist who during the strikes helped to organise “teach-outs” on the effects of neoliberalisation on higher education, believes that the discontent over pensions cannot be separated from academics’ “visceral experience of the declining quality of working conditions” caused by the growing marketisation.

“For those working at universities, the USS scandal destroyed the vestiges of the myth that precarity at present can lead to security in the future,” she says. “The remarkable solidarity between academic staff and students can be seen as a collective effort to reclaim that future.”

The proposed move to a more uncertain pension plan and UUK’s failure to understand why this was so unpalatable to academics merely underline the gulf between academics and management, Bacevic adds. “There is a growing realisation that employers view academics and the things that they value – job security, time to reflect and research, and decent retirement conditions – as a liability rather than an asset.”


Follow the Platform Capitalism reading group remotely

Our intensive one month Platform Capitalism reading group begins next month. All are welcome to attend in person and please get in touch if you’d like advice about travelling to the university. However it will also be possible to follow the reading group remotely, thanks to Naomi Barnes. If you’d like to do so, please join the Slack group created by Naomi where further details will be posted in advance of the reading group. We’d particularly encourage people to blog their thoughts about the reading and we will distribute any posts to all participants in advance of each week’s session.