Tag: Berkeley

New open access book: Simon Marginson on the crisis of the California master plan

The California master plan has been an inspiration in the world of higher education. Introduced in the 1960s it market an important milestone in thinking about system coordination in higher education. However – what has happened to the plan since?

clipboard02In a new book, professor Simon Marginson looks into the development of the plan and its spread across the world. Simon Marginson is the Director of the UCL Institute of Education (IOE) Centre for Global Higher Education, and leads CGHE’s global higher education engagement research programme.

Marginson explains his main rationale for the book: “In this book I start from the legacy of Clark Kerr and the 1960 Master Plan for Higher Education in California, noting the strengths and weaknesses of that framework, and then reflect on the spread of the Californian ‘Multiversity’, and the influence of the system model, throughout the world, especially in East Asia“.

In the book, he also takes a more critical stance towards the recent developments in American higher education, as Marginson argues: “The final 40 per cent of the book then attempts to explain the gathering and growing difficulties faced by public higher education in America, in the context of an increasingly unequal economy and society. The conclusion suggests ways forward for the future.

The book is available open access, which is arguably still (too) rare in the field of higher education for books. Marginson explains his rationale for choosing open access: “I am very impressed by the scholarly virtues of open access publishing of a scholarly book, which University of California Press (in line with their own public values which can be traced back to the 1960s) are increasingly using. It’s good to be able to spread the work more widely than with solely purchased books.

Download the book

Marginson, S. (2016) – The Dream is Over: The crisis of Clark Kerr’s California Idea of higher education. Published by University of California Press, download free at doi: http://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.17




Hedda Chronicle: Go Bears or Fear the Tree? “Norwegian” impressions about Berkeley and Stanford – part 2

Martina Vukasovic and Sverre Tveit  (University of Oslo)

Martina Vukasovic and Sverre Tveit
(University of Oslo)

In this Chronicle, Hedda research fellow Martina Vukasovic and Sverre Tveit continue their reflections about their research stays in two leading US higher education institutions – UC Berkeley and Stanford University. As a follow-up to the previous post, Martina and Sverre go more in depth into their experiences with campus life.

Martina Vukasovic is a Hedda graduate and currently works at the University of Oslo with her doctoral dissertation as well as being involved in the Hedda master programme. The post is based on her stay at SCANCOR, a consortium that facilitates cooperation between Scandinavian universities and Stanford University in the area of organizational research.

Sverre Tveit works at the University of Oslo where he is writing his doctoral dissertation on educational assessment, and the post is based on his stay at the Graduate School of Education at the University of California – Berkeley. 

In terms of life on campus, Berkeley and Stanford are rather different. While it emerged to be a city in its own right over the years it was in fact the university campus that formed the beginning of the city of Berkeley. The initial private college was established at the foot of the Contra Costa Range, now known as the Berkeley hills. The campus itself is situated in the lower part of the hills, with a better view of the campus the further up-campus up you go. From the Sather Gate and upper campus buildings you have a terrific view of the San Francisco Bay and Golden Gate bridge. Surrounding the campus are numerous stores, coffee shops, bars and residential areas. Berkeley is well known for its liberal (anti American if you wish) tradition, and is particularly known for the “Berkeley riots” which among others included the first major protest against the Vietnam war (more than 10.000 people demonstrated). Today the liberal traditions are particularly evident in the hippie style food trucks and emphasis on vegetarian, vegan or other more healthy food selection than the typical American cuisine.

Stanford campus is more of a bubble in the suburbia between San Francisco and San Jose, boasting to be the second largest campus in the world, very bike friendly, flat, with several museums and arts centres and Rodin sculptures scattered around. Although it is relatively shielded from its surroundings, Stanford boasts to have a significant contribution to the Silicon Valley, not least by being the alma mater of David Packard and William Hewlett, whose garage is dubbed as the birthplace of the Silicon Valley and who, together with William/Bill Gates, now have dedicated buildings on campus. Less advertised, or rather not advertised at all, is the building of the Department of Psychology – Jordan Hall, in which basement the controversial Stanford Prison experiment took place.

Life on campus is further marked with strange traditions. The significance of these traditions is also visible in the fact that both universities include these in constructing of their public image (Berkeley and Stanford).




Hedda Chronicle: Go Bears or Fear the Tree? “Norwegian” impressions about Berkeley and Stanford – part 1

Martina Vukasovic and Sverre Tveit  (University of Oslo)

Martina Vukasovic and Sverre Tveit
(University of Oslo)

In this Chronicle, Hedda research fellow Martina Vukasovic and Sverre Tveit write about their research stays in two leading US higher education institutions – UC Berkeley and Stanford University. Martina Vukasovic is a Hedda graduate and currently works at the University of Oslo with her doctoral dissertation as well as being involved in the Hedda master programme. Sverre Tveit works at the University of Oslo where he is writing his doctoral dissertation on educational assessment. 

Thanks to the support of NATED and the Fulbright programme we have had the chance to escape (part of) the Norwegian autumn and winter and spend it the Bay Area in California. Sverre has been visiting the Graduate School of Education at the University of California – Berkeley, while Martina spent September-December at SCANCOR, a consortium that facilitates cooperation between Scandinavian universities and Stanford University in the area of organizational research. Apart from using the time to further our research, sharpen our theoretical thinking and get away from pliktarbeid and November in Norway, we also took this as an opportunity to simply get acquainted with the two universities, various aspects of campus life and simply enjoy being in the Bay Area and the Silicon Valley. We will introduce the two universities and present some traditions and customs in both universities, which, from a “Norwegian” perspective, seem a bit… well – odd. The first post addresses more serious issues of history, funding, student and staff numbers. The second post will focus on campus life.

A bit of history and basic data

The University of California “flagship campus” at Berkeley was chartered in 1868 in what is considered to be the wake of the gold rush in a newly formed state of California. It is the result of a merger between the private College of California in Oakland and a state land-grant Agricultural, Mining and Mechanical Arts College. Ten faculty members and almost 40 students (all male) first worked on campus in Oakland. Eight women enrolled already in 1870. The university moved to the current Berkeley campus in 1873. Many scholars from Norwegian institutions go to Berkeley each year and the close link to Norway stem from Peder Sæther, a Norwegian who emigrated to the US in 1832 and later became a successful banker in San Francisco. As an important contributor to the establishment of UC Berkeley, two of the most famous campus landmarks carry his name: The Sather Gate and the Sather Tower. Today, Berkeley is a public university, with a bit less than 30% of his funding coming from the state of California, 30% from federal research and almost 20% from tuition and fees.