Neoliberal Influences and Academic Writing Student Support Systems in Higher Education


  • Vivette Milson-Whyte
  • Annife Campbell


academic writing, neoliberal, student support systems


This essay relied on four neoliberal-influenced concepts – privatisation, marketisation, profit, and competition – to address the entrepreneurial and income-generating activities sometimes adopted or recommended by writing course administrators, upper university administrators and other collaborators/stakeholders involved in designing, conceptualising and revising academic-writing, student support systems. Drawing on the archival work documented over many years in course review documents and departmental reports, coupled with the works of other local academic-writing practitioners and the current researchers’ experiences and insights, we looked at the achievements despite the challenges experienced in supporting students’ academic writing development through faculty-specific writing courses, basic writing programmes, the Mona Writing Centre, and a Writing Across the Curriculum project. We find the commitment of the university and the English language section in nurturing the written literacy development skills of its students commendable, but at the same time seriously question if long-term, social and welfare developmental projects around English Language education can survive if left to potential neoliberal influences rather than the intentional securing of their financial base similar to other key student support services like Placement and Career Services.