Tracing assessment policy discourses in neoliberalised higher education settings
(2016) Journal of Education Policy, pp. 1-18. Article in Press.
This article explores assessment policy in two European universities with different political, historical and social backgrounds: the University of Glasgow and Tallinn University. The University of Glasgow is a well-established Russell Group university in the UK; Tallinn University is a relatively new university in post-Soviet Estonia, shaped by very recent neoliberalisation processes. By applying a Foucauldian theorisation and Faircloughian methodology, this article approaches assessment policy as not only relating to institutional contexts but also national and global policy environments. The article argues that the assessment policy in Glasgow relates to globally dominant neoliberal discourses of accountability and excellence. These discourses have turned assessment into a complex technology of government that manages educational processes as well as academic and student subjectivities. While Tallinn University is shaped by neoliberalism at strategic levels, the policy documents in Tallinn still indicate a strong sense of local tradition where regulations have a modest impact on academic freedom and assessors’ disciplinary power over students. © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
assessment policy; discourse; Foucault; higher education; Neoliberalism