events archive

The McDonaldization of Higher Education

10:00am, Thursday 7 June 2001, Canterbury Christ Church University

McDonald’s Hamburger University has produced over 70,000 graduates of hamburgerology since its opening. They retum after graduation to the shop floor of almost 29,000 retail outlets in 120 countries. This is a success story. But why does the name arouse particular opprobrium when linked to university education? George Ritzer, who coined the word ‘McDonaldization’, said, “I should like to make it clear that I do not expect tomorrow’s university to look exactly like a shopping mall or chain of fast food restaurants. However, I do expect it to integrate applicable elements of these and other new means of consumption into the existing structure of the university. “

This conference will undertake the first major examination of the McDonaldization of higher education. It will address key questions such as: What is the McUniversity? Has the drive to open up access to the academy made it a reality? What are the forces behind it? Can its development be challenged? What role do human resource management techniques, quality initiatives, inspections and new forms of lecturer training play in bringing the McUniversity in to being? Will the McUniversity be as global a phenomenon as the Big Mac?