Higher education is dead? A Nietzschean critique of the neoliberal higher education system and an exploration into the impact on academe
AuthorsTurner, Ella L.
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AbstractThis thesis explores how academic and professional staff experience higher education. This research embraces a creative, ethnographic methodology to open up, through conversations and observations, how staff encounter HE in one university in the North West of England. Conversations with participants and observations of their university environs intertwine to reveal the seemingly multiple contradictory values within HE. These are analysed using Friedrich Nietzsche’s three concepts of Übermensch, amor fati and eternal recurrence. Inspired by Friedrich Nietzsche’s imaginative and poetic writing style represented in Thus Spoke Zarathustra resulted in a retelling of my conversations and observations with participants in three narrative vignettes. The vignettes reveal and disturb the ideas of tradition and the neoliberal values that confront both academic and professional staff. The thesis offers insights into HE’s ‘will to truth’ (Nietzsche, 1886/2014), the structures that allow its convictions to flourish to form a beleaguered culture of oppositional values that serves to divide the academe. This thesis concludes by offering up the suffering of HE, as redemptive in this life, affirming an enduring joining together of multiplicities in the ring of existence (Nietzsche, 1883-5/1969). All this is necessary for HE to transcend itself in a constant becoming. I end the thesis with a call for the academe not to submit to a nihilistic looking back, nor to become the eager gravedigger (Nietzsche, 1874) for the death of HE, but to be the active, creative force in the revaluation of its values.
CitationTurner, E. L. (2021). Higher education is dead? A Nietzschean critique of the neoliberal higher education system and an exploration into the impact on academe [Unpublished doctoral thesis]. University of Chester.
PublisherUniversity of Chester
TypeThesis or dissertation
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