Further Education and the New Managerialism
As a result of the process of incorporation following the Further and Higher Education Act (1992), Cityshire College, a large further education (FE) college, left the jurisdiction of the local authority and gained greater responsibility for managing its own affairs. Arising from a case study based on interviews and questionnaires this paper considers the impact of changes within the College which took place between 1991 and 1994. Of particular interest is the development of a ‘new managerialism’, a management style which the paper identifies as having spread throughout public sector organizations during the 1980s. This paper goes on to consider the way in which quality procedures, the introduction of a technology associated with flexible learning and the introduction of market‐related mechanisms have had an impact on professional control. The evidence from a lecturer questionnaire circulated at Cityshire suggests that staff reject the values represented by these developments and are opposed to the threat they perceive to the professional culture of FE. The outcome of the various processes currently taking place at Cityshire and across the sector as a whole suggest that the deprofessionalization and, indeed, the ‘proletarianization’ of the FE lecturer may be taking place.