Michael Priestley “Sick of Study? : Student Mental ‘Illness’ & Neoliberal Higher Education Policy”

In Students by Debbie Curtis

  • Durham University
  • Education
  • michael.j.priestley@durham.ac.uk

My PhD explores the relationship between neoliberal higher education policy and student mental health. Using Foucaultian philosophy, my research will re-contextualise medical concepts of student mental ‘illness’ within the discourse-knowledge-power-subject relations of neoliberal higher education policy. Through extensive discursive analysis of interview data from mental health policy advisors, professional practitioners and undergraduate students, my projects philosophically investigates the relationship between neoliberal higher education policy discourses and structures, and the internal and external reproduction of student mental ‘illness’. The project aims, working in collaborative partnership with a North-East suicide prevention, intervention and support charity, to develop service-user led policy recommendations for student wellbeing in the higher education sector.