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Tracing assessment policy discourses in neoliberalised higher education settings.

Raaper, R. (2017) 'Tracing assessment policy discourses in neoliberalised higher education settings.', Journal of education policy., 32 (3). pp. 322-339.


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.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Publisher statement:This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Journal of Education Policy on 14/11/2016 available online at:
Date accepted:01 November 2016
Date deposited:03 November 2016
Date of first online publication:14 November 2016
Date first made open access:14 May 2018

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