The politics of space in the neoliberal university: The University of Warwick and the Free University, Berlin

Anna Carey


This article provides an auto-ethnographic analysis of my spatial experiences as an undergraduate student at two different universities with contrasting systems of higher education. I compare my experiences at the University of Warwick (Coventry) and the Free University (Berlin) to unpack the effects of current changes to higher education in the United Kingdom. This provides a necessary student voice in the academic literature on the neoliberalization of higher education. It helps unpack how the introduction of tuition fees and related changes has affected the lived experience of the university in the United Kingdom, and especially the idea of learning that underpins the university. In calling for a focus on our own stories of the university, instead of the elusive ‘neoliberal university’, this article argues that it is our real student experiences that will allow us to situate ourselves and protest the changes taking place in higher education.

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The JUE is a peer-reviewed online journal that publishes original ethnographic research by undergraduates working in a variety of disciplines. Submissions are welcomed. Contact the Editor, Karen McGarry.

ISSN 2369-8721