Document Details

Title The Institution That Wasn't: The Institution That Wasn’t: The British National Health Service University
Author Scott Taylor, Emma Bell, Irena Grugulis, John Storey - University of Essex (UK), Queen Mary, University of London (UK), University of Bradford (UK), Open U


This report presents a detailed account of a major educational initiative in the British health service, the organisation with the largest workforce in Europe. The initiative was to set up a ‘university for the National Health Service’, an aspiration that gave birth to ‘NHSU’. Work began in 2001, but the project ended abruptly in 2005. This paper is based on the analysis of a series of in-depth interviews with senior managerial staff and a review of policy documents. Our analysis explores both the political and the organisational aspects of NHSU. We conclude that two aspects of the initiative are key to understanding its demise: its politically-led nature and its challenge to the idea of a ‘university’. Finally, we attempt to draw conclusions from the experience of NHSU to inform other state-sponsored education and training interventions.

Date 01/12/2007
Region(s) Europe
Countries United Kingdom
Theme(s) Regulatory Frameworks
Topic(s) Regulation, Theory and/or Ideology

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