John Brennan is Emeritus Professor of Higher Education Research at the Open University and a Visiting Professor at the University of Bath and London Metropolitan University. His interests lie broadly in the area of higher education and social change. For nearly 20 years, he directed the Centre for Higher Education Research and Information at the Open University where he led and participated in many national and international projects on topics such as graduate employment, quality assurance, universities and social transformation. He has published several books and many reports and articles on higher education and its changing relationship with society and has spoken at countless conferences on higher education in the UK and many other parts of the world. His most recent publications include a co-authored book, Improving what is learned in higher education, three articles in a special issue of the international journal, Higher Education, based on a European Science Foundation project which he led and entitled Higher Education Looking Forward, and an article on ‘knowledge societies’ published in the European Review. His other books include Managing Quality in Higher Education (with Shah), Graduates at Work (with McGeevor) and Students, Courses and Jobs (with Lyon, McGeevor and Murray). Another book is in preparation, dealing with the regional impact of universities.
Prior to joining the Open University in 1992, he was Director of the Quality Support Group at the Council for National Academic Awards and has held academic posts at Lancaster University and Teesside Polytechnic. By training a sociologist, he is a founder member of the Consortium of Higher Education Researchers and member of several other higher education research groups. In December 2005, he was elected a Fellow of the Society for Research into Higher Education. He is a member of the Scientific Evaluation Board of the University of Vienna and the Peer Review College of the Economic and Social Research Council and is an academic auditor for the Hong Kong University Grants Committee. He is a senior expert for the European Centre for the Strategic Management of Universities and he also currently chairs the Scientific Committee of the European Science Foundation’s research programme on Higher Education and Social Change.