The Idea of a University Reading Group

22 June 2015, 14:00 - 15:30

CLAS Meeting Room, 204, Second Floor, Alison Richard Building

What I would say about today is that we are living through a point in history of Western academia so momentous it’s hard for us to wrap our minds around it – namely the effectual end of universities as centres of human critique, the effectual end of an enormously rich and diverse and valuable tradition, which has always had to struggle to carve out a task for itself that is often at odds with the priorities of society.” (Terry Eagleton in Third Way, 39, (2015), 25)

Thinking well about Universities – their purpose, their forms, their values  – has once again become one of the important things to do. We hope that this reading group will offer some space in which to do that thinking. Specifically, to:

  • increase our knowledge and understanding of the current state of Universities (for example: a sense of loss is a recurring idea amongst younger academics. But a loss of what? What are the sources of this sometimes-desperate elegy?)
  • understand more about the history of Universities, particularly in the British context
  • interrogate some of our assumptions about what Universities are, what they are for, and the major pressures they face
  • understand how and why the current debates on the future of Universities matter to us – our responsibilities and capacity for influence and change.

Tea, coffee and biscuits provided; and readings available by clicking on the Readings Tab

Markets, Money, Death

Stefan Collini. “Sold Out”. London Review of Books 35.20 (24 October 2013): 3-12. [A review of Everything for Sale? The Marketisation of UK Higher Education by Roger Brown, with Helen Carasso (Routledge, 2013) and The Great University Gamble: Money, Markets and the Future of Higher Education by Andrew McGettigan (Pluto, 2013).]

http://www.lrb.co.uk/v35/n20/stefan-collini/sold-out

 

Andrew McGettigan. The Great University Gamble: Money, Markets and the Future of Higher Education. Pluto, 2013.

‘Introduction: Privatisation – The Plan and the Gamble’ (1-13) and ‘The Mass Higher Education System and its Funding’ (17-24)

 

Terry Eagleton. “The Slow Death of the University” The Chronicle Review 6 April 2015.

http://m.chronicle.com/article/The-Slow-Death-of-the/228991/