Ormerod, RM, Bessant, SEF and Robinson, ZP (2015) Neoliberalism, new public management and the sustainable development agenda of higher education: history, contradictions and synergies. Environmental Education Research, 21 (3). pp. 417-432. ISSN 1469-5871

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This paper explores the ideological and the practical relationship between neoliberalism and New Public Management (NPM) and the sustainable development agenda of western higher education. Using the United Kingdom and specifically English universities as an example, it investigates the contradictions and the synergies between neoliberal and NPM ideologies and the pursuit and practice of the sustainability agenda, focusing in particular on education for sustainable development (ESD) and ESD research. This paper reveals a range of challenges and opportunities in respect of advancing sustainability in higher education, within the prevailing neoliberal context. It illustrates using examples how neoliberal and managerialist control mechanisms, which govern institutional, departmental and individual academic, as well as student behaviour, are working conversely to both drive and limit the sustainability education agenda. The case is made for further exploration of how ‘nudging’ and ‘steering’ mechanisms within English HE might provide further leverage for ESD developments in the near future, and the implications of this for sustainability educators.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: sustainable development, sustainability, education for sustainable development, higher education, neoliberalism, new public management
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
L Education > LC Special aspects of education
Divisions: Faculty of Natural Sciences > School of Physical and Geographical Sciences
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2017 09:56
Last Modified: 08 May 2019 11:28
URI: https://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/2797

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