The (im)possibility of the intellectual worker inside the neoliberal university

  • Grant Banfield
  • Helen Haduntz
  • Alpesh Maisuria


The university was born and has always existed in tension between the impulse to human freedom and resignation to the constraining powers of church, state and capital. In this era of neoliberalism where the global domination of capital is almost complete, the university has succumbed. The time has come to de-colonise, to de-capitalise and to build anew the universality (the university) of human freedom. In opening conversation around this provocation, work is drawn from a research project entitled The Changing Nature of University Academic Work. The project is an ongoing qualitative study employing in-depth interviews with Australian and English academics. It aims to shed light on how academics interpret changes over time to universities and their own day-to-day work. The analysis of interview data has revealed three dominant but inter-related themes: the rise of managerialism, the push to anti-intellectualism and the subservience of academic work to economic imperatives.


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BANFIELD, G.; HADUNTZ, H.; MAISURIA, A. The (im)possibility of the intellectual worker inside the neoliberal university. Educação & Formação, v. 1, n. 3, p. 3-19, 1 set. 2016.