JoLIE 8/2015

Back to issue page







Marek Smoluk

University of Zielona Góra, Poland






As we all strive for perfection, so should education which we all undergo. Throughout the centuries, educational theorists and practitioners have assiduously attempted to offer their suggestions for its improvement. The recent growth of higher education, being labelled as universal, and the transformation of what is offered in its name, are all new issues but some of the educational troubles are old, even a century-old. Already in the 1930’s some of the educationalists endeavoured to attract public attention, for instance, to the problems of educational narrowness, career-oriented lecturers or interchange between universities. As the former two still need to be looked into, the latter has been worked out by the introduction of modular degrees, and the Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme. These new ideas have pedagogical merits which suit best the new policies of education and university expansion in the United Kingdom. The comprehensive study of the current state of higher education, in particular with reference to these new schemes, reveals that modularisation and Credit Accumulation and Transfer Scheme give rise to some practical difficulties. Objections to modular degrees and transfer programme appear to be even more questionable when they are set in the context of educational commodification. The effect of the market ethos on the ‘newer’ universities is that teaching institutions have become more preoccupied with a survival battle for their finances than with their prime functions of educating the young and doing research.


Key words: Higher education; British universities; CAT scheme; Modularisation.





Baker, S., & Brown, B. (2007). Rethinking Universities: The social functions of higher education. London: Continuum International Publishing Book.


Brecher, B. (2002, June 7). Fast food is no substitute for an intellectual feast. The Times Higher Educational Supplement, p. 18.


Brown, R. (2007, December 11). The greater good is not served by market forces. Guardian Educational Supplement, p. 10.


Dragoescu, A.-A. (2014). On a joint research project assessing language learning strategies used by university students of EFL in Turkey and Romania. Journal of Linguistic and Intercultural Eduation – JoLIE, 7, 81–92. DOI:

Evans, M. (2004). Killing thinking: The death of the university. London: Continuum Books 20.


Gombrich, F. R. (2000, January). British higher education policy in the last twenty years: The murder of a profession. Tokyo 2000. Retrieved from


Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA). (n.d.). [Official website]. Retrieved May, 13, 2015, from


Hussey T., & Smith, P. (2010). The trouble with higher education: A critical examination of our universities. London: Routledge.


Huxley, A. (1937). Ends and means: An inquiry into the nature of ideals and into the methods employed for their realization. London: Chatto & Windus.


Morgan, A. E. (1933). Education in the modern world: The function of universities. London: R. Madley.


Oliver, P. (1995). Speculations on accumulation. The Times Higher Education. Retrieved January 17, 1995, from


Popescu, T. (2009). Presentation of a prospective joint MA programme in intercultural education within the context of the Bologna process. In T. Popescu, & R. Pioariu (Eds.), Proceedings of the Exploratory Workshop Linguistic and Intercultural Education CLIE-2009 (pp.28–35). Alba Iulia: Aeternitas.


Read, H. (1940). Annals of innocence and experience. London: Faber and Faber.


Smoluk, M. (2014).Current expansion and distortion of higher education in the United Kingdom. In D. Fuchs, & W. Klepuszewski (Eds.), Academic Fiction Revisited. Selected Essays (pp. 1724). Koszalin: Wydawnictwo Uczelniane Politechniki Koszalińskiej.


Truscot, B. (1952). Redbrick University. London: Faber and Faber.


University of Huddersfield. Admissions and Records Office. (n.d.). [Official website]. Retrieved August 11, 2013, from


UNESCO. (1998). World declaration on higher education for the twenty-first century: Vision and Action. Retrieved May 11, 2015, from


How to cite this article: Smoluk, M. (2015). Modularisation and commodification of higher education in the United Kingdom. Journal of Linguistic and Intercultural Education – JoLIE, 8, 203212. DOI:



For details on subscription, go to: