Continuity and Change in the Collegial Tradition



This article has four main purposes: to explore the meaning of the idea of collegiality, to consider its importance in the governance of British institutions of higher education, to examine the pressures for change that have been exerted upon both the collegiate model of the university as well as upon the idea of collegiality, and to ascertain what relevance – if any – the idea of collegiality has in the context of a system of mass higher education. The article is a report upon ongoing research, of which interviews with some fifty Oxford academics and officials form the core of its empirical base. Naturally we welcome feedback. An important subtheme is our attempt to understand the process of change in British higher education. Our analysis suggests that the change process is best understood through an analysis of the interaction between state pressure for change and developments within the character of the academic profession.