This article is more than 5 years old

Your summer HE reading recommendations, 2018

It's summer reading recommendation time again, and Paul Greatrix has what may well be the only list you need.
This article is more than 5 years old

Paul Greatrix is Registrar at The University of Nottingham, author and creator of Registrarism and a Contributing Editor of Wonkhe.

Every year we get lists of great summer reading suggestions from famous and not so famous authors in the weightier newspapers and even the Times Higher Education sometimes joins in. Last year we joined in the fun with this handy list of the #HigherEd books everyone should have read together with some broader helpful reading advice.

We could have asked a load of higher ed celebrities for their views but that would have taken far too long and we might not have liked the answers. So here, in all its purity, without any external input whatsoever, is this summer’s list…

  • The Sorcerer’s Apprenticeship Levy
  • When Two Two Becomes Two One: Grade Inflation Made Easy
  • You Say Tom-ah-toe, I Say Tom-ay-toe: Graduation Name Reading for Beginners
  • Snowflake Patrol: Policing Safe Spaces on Campus
  • Alone in Berlin: Managing Exchange Students in Crisis
  • War of the World Rankings
  • The Office for Students, The First Six Months of Joy
  • The Borrowers: University Librarians have their say
  • Treasure Island: Remembering Second Life
  • From JACS to HECoS: the magic of subject coding
  • The Sign of Four Star: Sherlock Holmes and the REF
  • To Kill the Mockingbirds: campus avian control strategies
  • Paradise Lost: the impact of university capital investment
  • Christmas Carols: A Definitive Guide to University Festive Event Arrangements
  • The Spiked! Annual 2018 – the very best of this year’s wilful contrarianism with all your favourite pseudonymous writers.

My back pages

Some of those previously recommended here which have made the bestseller list over the past year already include:

  • The Place of the Mace – identifying graduation paraphernalia
  • I Spy Universities
  • Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: The hottest new graduate entry jobs
  • UKRI or I cry, Bees or Baize? The definitive sector pronunciation guide – new HERA-compliant version
  • The Essay Mill on the Floss
  • Gold! Always Believe in Your TEF Score
  • Bleak Houses: student accommodation through the ages
  • I’ve Got a Brand New Combine Harvester – agricultural economics in the Archers
  • Dalmatians 101: setting up puppy rooms in student services
  • For Whom the Bell Tolls – universities and their clocktowers
  • Registrars and their Registers
  • The HE Student Loan Book (now available at a large discount)
  • Getting titters on Twitter or how to craft the perfectly droll 140 character epigram – a primer for senior university managers
  • Almost out of office – a guide to minimising tedious summer email
  • How to dig “digs”: Understanding contemporary trends in student accommodation
  • True Grime on Campus- the world’s best academic graffiti
  • It Ain’t Half Hot Mum – cross-cultural sensitivities in setting up campuses overseas
  • Yet More HE Acronyms (HERA edition)
  • The Campus on the Hill: protecting your university against rising sea levels

And, of course, there is the biggest book released in the past 12 months, True Crime on Campus, which EVERYONE should be buying many copies of.

Do let us know if there are any we’ve missed.



3 responses to “Your summer HE reading recommendations, 2018

  1. On WONKship you may want to consult:

    Jerry Z Muller (2018) The Tyranny of Metrics. Princeton University Press

    David Gaeber (2018) Bullshit Jobs: A Theory. Allen Lane

    Mats Alvesson and Andre Spicer (2016) The Stupidity Paradox: The Power and Pitfalls of Functional Stupidity at Work.
    Profile Books

    On universities and their purpose WONKs should read:

    Stefan Collini (2017) Speaking of Universities. Verso

    Frank Furedi (2016) What’s Happened To The University? Routledge

    Joanna Williams (2016) Academic Freedom in an Age of Conformity: Confronting the Fear of Knowledge.Palgrave Macmillan

    Henry A. Giroux (2014) Neoliberalism’s War on Higher Education. Haymarket Books

    Roger Brown and Helen Carasso (2013) Everything for Sale? The Marketisation of UK Higher Education. Routledge

    Stefan Collini (2012) What are Universities For? Penguin

    But I doubt any of you will do, as these books generally go against your ideological and commercial vision for HE and your vested interests as WONKS in HE.

    An academic

  2. Hi Tom – these are good suggestions but – other than Muller which I’d not come across and will look up and Furedi because of the usual reasons – I’ve read these.

    Also you’ve very few women and no people of colour, and your list seems oddly focused on the UK, when many of the structural issues with universities are very much a function of their participation in a system of global capital. Could I recommend:

    Lower Ed: The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy – Tressie McMillam Cottom (2017)

    Paying the Price: College Costs, Financial Aid, and the Betrayal of the American Dream – Sara Goldrick-Raab (2016)

    The Monsters of Education Technology (and subsequent series) – Audrey Watters (2014)

    You may also enjoy – Mass Intellectuality and Democratic Leadership in Higher Education – Richard Hall, Joss Winn (eds) (2016)

  3. ‘The usual reasons … ‘ It would be productive if HE Wonks could cut their pathetic insinuations aimed at academics they disagree with.

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