The Idea of the University – where are we now?

In our current situation there is a good deal of uncertainty about the future of the university. As academics have argued:

Readings (1999) The University in Ruins

‘ …the wider social role of the university is up for grabs. It is no longer clear what the place of the university is within society…the changing institutional form of the university is something that intellectuals cannot afford to ignore.’

Graham (2002) Universities: The Recovery of an Idea

‘British universities have been guilty of a failure to redefine their identity in a new diverse world of higher education…The most essential task is to recreate a sense of our own work by refashioning our understanding of our identity – our understanding of what the word ‘university’ means.’

This future of the University is an important debate with which the Learning Landscapes in HE project is fully engaged. The approach taken by the Learning Landscapes project is that the new university that emerges needs to be grounded in its own intellectual history and tradition in a way that fits and shapes the contemporary world.