Neo-liberalism and Institutionalism in the Short Life of TechBC

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
Yes, item is peer reviewed.
Scholarly level: 
Faculty/Staff
Final version published as: 

Hendrigan, H. (2017). Neo-liberalism and Institutionalism in the Short Life of TechBC. Historical Studies in Education / Revue d’histoire de l’éducation, 29(2). Retrieved from  http://historicalstudiesineducation.ca/index.php/edu_hse-rhe/article/view/4514

Date created: 
2017-10-31
Keywords: 
Technical University of British Columbia
Higher education and state--British Columbia
Neoliberalism
Institutional theory
Abstract: 

The Technical University of British Columbia (1999–2002) has received scant attention in the scholarly literature since it was folded into Simon Fraser University and became SFU’s Surrey branch campus. This article uses neo-liberal and institutional theory to understand the university’s economic mandate and the motivations of the staff and faculty who worked there. TechBC’s legislation and oral history interviews reveal neo-liberal influence in its purpose as an economic driver of the province, academic programs intended to satisfy the high-technology labour market, willingness to collaborate with industry, corporate governance structure, and reduced government funding support. TechBC employees were drawn to working at a startup university, building an interdisciplinary curriculum, and employing new online teaching and learning methods. TechBC’s institutional logic of non-conformity and its aspirations to transform the university experience accounts for its community’s positive memories of the short-lived university.

Language: 
English
Document type: 
Article
Rights: 
This article was published open access according to the Budapest Open Access Initiative. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles. Users may not modify this article, nor use it for commercial purposes, without asking prior permission from the publisher (Canadian History of Education Association) and the author. Copyright in the article remains with the author.
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Sponsor(s): 
Simon Fraser University Library’s Scholarly Digitization Fund
Simon Fraser University Digital Humanities Innovation Lab
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