"How does the University work?"

Interdisciplinary research course

February – June 2011, Utrecht University

The researchcourse continues untill the 30th of June, when a closing congress in Utrecht is planned and the results are to be presented and discussed. More information about this public congress will be announced on howdoestheuniversitywork.nl

In the meantime:

After the course, you are welcome to:
  • use the results of this course in your own network.
  • participate in future initiatives of research about the University

For preliminary discussions, add yourself to the facebookgroup of the course here (open to those who subscribed and those considering to subscribe)

As a sequel to workshops about knowledge production organized January 2010, students from Utrecht have co-organized a new interdisciplinary research course in collaboration with University teachers and Kritische Studenten Utrecht. It will start coming February 2011 at Utrecht University, can earn students (and non-students) up to 7,5 ECTS study credits, span a period of approximately 14 weeks, and will be focused on one central question: How does the university work and why does it work the way it does?

Various stakeholders of the university will be taken into consideration such as students, university staff, management layers, as well as external actors such as the government, the private sector and the economy and society in general. Topics to be discussed and researched will include increasing modern managerialism at the University, the impact of the economic crisis and budget cuts in education, research and student financing.

Moreover, another goal of the research course is to bring into practice a course which promotes students’ participation in defining the study programme and research methodologies themselves, while being encouraged to use a diverse and creative methodology to answer the central question. Students can work on a research project of choice by using literature, doing fieldwork or interviews and use video reports besides written material to present results. Subscription is open to students from different disciplines since interdisciplinary approaches to the central question will also be encouraged.

As with the workshops on knowledge production last January, in the aftermath of the course students are encouraged to use the results in a variety of ways to further a critical debate about the university among students and staff.

_________________Read more:_________________

  • Recommended materials:

Lorenz, C. “Will the universities survive European integration? Higher Education Policies in the EU and in the Netherlands before and after the Bologna Declaration.” Sociologia internationalis : internationale Zeitschrift für Soziologie und Sozialpsychologie, 44, 123-151 (2006)

Grahame Lock & Chris Lorenz. “Revisiting the university front”. In: STUDIES IN PHILOSOPHY AND EDUCATION Volume 26, Number 5, 405-418 (2007)

Publicaties European Students Union:

“Bologna at the finish line. An account of ten years of European higher education reform” (2010)

“Bologna with students eyes” ESUpublications 2005, 2007, 2009

Bousquet, Marc (2008) How the University Works: Higher Education and the Low-Wage Nation. New York University Press. New York & London 2008



March 30, Bookshop Rooie Rat, Oudegracht 65, 19:00 – 21:00
History of the University, with guestspeaker André Klukhun.

May 4th, Bookshop Rooie Rat, Oudegracht 65, 19:00 – 21:00
Labour conditions at the University, with an FNV-organizer and cleaners from the Uithof as guest speakers

May 11th, Drift 23, Room 1.06, 19:00 – 21:00
Christiaan Broer from UvA gives a talk about measurement (of quality) in higher education.

May 25th, Drift 23, Room 1.06, 19:00 – 21:00
The research group Motivation and Management of Hugo, Mark, Laura, & Aaron will organize the content of this session.


June 30, final public congress
Location: Utrecht. More information to be found here.