How ’Global’ is the Global Transformation of the University? The Importance of Transnational Knowledge Production and Critique

Date: 23 April 2013
Location: UCA Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic
Other languages: Русский язык |

Speaker: Sarah Amsler

Date: 23 April 2012. 4.00pm
Venue: University of Central Asia, 138 Toktogul Street, Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic. Conference Room.

These are turbulent times for higher educators and students around the world. They are characterised, by a new era of capitalist initiatives which include the rapid defunding of formerly public education systems, ascendance of capitalist knowledge regimes and the transformation of professional identities. At the same time, there is a global intensification of intellectual and political resistance to these processes and the proliferation of alternative projects. According to Michael Burawoy, it seems that “the university is in crisis, almost everywhere.” Despite some shared cross-national experience, however, these “crises of the university” are not homogenous. This lecture will consider how particular forms of neoliberal restructuring in Central Asia, dominated by international financial institutions, non-governmental organizations and local power elites, may be shaping higher education.  The research suggests that these forces have contradictory effects on higher education,  creating crises in the funding and culture of higher education; presenting a limited range of opportunities for intellectual and professional development; and strengthening ‘justificatory regimes’ for elite and commodified higher education.  Audience members will discuss how we might better communicate across borders to deepen transnational knowledge about the global transformation of higher education and its alternatives, and how to strengthen our collective capacity to build the educational systems we desire in our own locations. 

Please RSVP to with your name and affiliation. Please indicate if you require translation.

Sarah Amsler is a Reader of Education at the University of Lincoln. Her research focuses on the critical theory of knowledge, the politics of cultural work and education, theories of social transformation, and the relationship between philosophy, politics, pedagogy and everyday life. She is involved in experimental projects in popular higher education outside the formal university setting, and has been interested in education in Central Asia for many years. She is currently completing a book entitled The Education of Radical Democracy. A full list of her publications and presentations can be found at  

The presentation will be in English. Russian translation provided upon prior request.


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