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Editorial: Learning is still the real business of the University
journal contributionposted on 2023-07-26, 13:25 authored by Jacinta Kelly
In his paper, Dissent and Dissensus: Making a Difference in the Corporate University, Professor of Nursing at the University of Swansea and Master of Controversy, Gary Rolfe, announced during a seminar at the University of Cambridge on the occasion of this year’s Nurse Education Tomorrow (NET) conference, that the University lies in ‘ruin’. As delegates foraged in their conference packs for disaster survival kits and scanned the nearest exit out of the parlous confine, the presenter fearing abandonment moved swiftly to reassure attendees that the ‘ruin’ was metaphoric and that the University of Cambridge, specifically, was not being referred to. While calm descended this soon gave way to the nascent discipline being plunged into despair on realising the bleak news that The University; the very fabric of civilised society from which our professional cloth is cut, was actually in tatters. In his paper, Rolfe attacked the state of education provision for nurses at universities, presumably in the UK. First, he bemoaned the fact that educators no longer have any power to effect change in clinical practice. Second, the modern university has developed itself as a corporate business trading in the merchandise of degrees with student consumers content to being administered through an educational system which values student retention and satisfaction above healthcare education needs. Third, Rolfe argued that the role of educators as scholars and researchers is threatened by the need to secure the ‘right’ research grants and to publish in the ‘right’ journals. Finally, in response to these developments he advised educators should stay in the ‘ruin’, but dissent, be subversive.
Publication titleJournal of Clinical Nursing