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Productivism in universities: Evaluation as an instrument of neoliberal logic in higher education

  • Francisco, Thiago Henrique Almino
  • Martins, Georgia Carolina Carvalho
  • Oliveira, Carla Carolina Dias de
  • Moser, Giancarlo
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2024
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Objective: This study aims to explore the influence of academic productivism within the framework of Brazilian public Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) since the adoption of the new postgraduate evaluation policy by CAPES (Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel) in 1977. It seeks to understand how neoliberal productive logic applied to universities as organizations correlates with the assessment policies in Brazil.   Theoretical Framework: The research is grounded in the concepts of productive and reproductive work, aiming to establish a connection between neoliberal productivist logic in universities and the close relationship with evaluation policies. Key theories and models explored include the knowledge society and market-oriented capitalist productivity within academic settings, providing a solid foundation for the study's context.   Method: The methodology involves a historical contextualization of the university as an object of study, supplemented by a bibliographic analysis. Data collection was based on an extensive review of literature pertinent to the evolution of university roles under neoliberal capitalism and the impact of quantitative assessment tools serving market-oriented educational paradigms.   Results and Discussion: Preliminary findings indicate a significant influence of market-driven productivity logic on academic environments, shaped by the assessment mechanisms perceived as instruments serving this logic. These results are discussed in relation to the theoretical framework, highlighting the implications and connections identified, with a consideration of potential discrepancies and limitations of the study.   Research Implications: The practical and theoretical implications of this research provide insights into how the findings might be applied or influence practices in the field of higher education management. These implications extend to areas impacted by neoliberal assessment policies and their effects on academic productivity.   Originality/Value: This research contributes to the literature by offering a historical perspective on the transformation of universities under neoliberal capitalism, analyzed through the lens of academic productivism and assessment policies. Its value lies in the elucidation of how these dynamics affect higher education in Brazil, offering implications for policy and practice in the sector.

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