Falkowski, T., Ostrowicka, H.
Ethicalisation of higher education reform: The strategic integration of academic discourse on scholarly ethos (2020) Educational Philosophy and Theory
The article presents the results of an analysis of the academic dispute about the scholarly ethos, conducted at the time of intense higher education reforms in Poland. Previous analyses of the academic debate on the change of the traditional university towards its entrepreneurial organization emphasize the polarization, that is, the criticism or affirmation of neoliberal reforms. The presented research proves that this discourse loses its dichotomous power when it focuses on ethical issues. The analysis shows the ‘polyvalence’ and ‘strategic integration’ of discourse in the Foucauldian sense of the terms. Firstly, the issue of the traditional scholarly ethos is clearly present both among the opponents and supporters of the current changes in higher education. Secondly, both critical and affirmative discourses refer to the traditional ethos, i.e. they do not attempt to develop any new ethopoiesis, which may be surprising especially in the case of the latter. Instead, they use a ‘peculiar reversal’, pointing to factors located outside the university and yet affecting academic standards. Thirdly, individual attributes of the traditional ethos are taken over by neoliberal discourse, which modifies them and adjusts them to its own purposes. The term ‘ethicalization’ of higher education reform describes ethical problematizations of the contemporary university transformation. © 2020, © 2020 Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia.
Academic discourse; academic ethos; Foucault; higher education reform