'Today, how can we not speak of the university?' Towards the next generation...


Watson C (2012) 'Today, how can we not speak of the university?' Towards the next generation.... Power and Education, 4 (3), pp. 342-354.

Universities are currently in a period of transition as the Humboldtian institution reaches its limits and we move towards the next generation. These limiting factors include the massive expansion of higher education and increase in student numbers; globalisation; and demands that universities contribute to the development of the 'knowledge economy'. Change is inevitable – but does this leave the university in crisis? Is the university still a functional institution? In this paper my aim is to uncover just how far we have gone in this transition towards the next generation institution; to celebrate those institutions that have embraced these opportunities; and to consider the implications of all this guided by (and providing a partial answer to) the question once posed by Jacques Derrida: ‘Today, how can we not speak of the university?’ The paper concludes by considering whether there is room for a dysfunctional university, a university that in a sense opposes the call for functionality? In other words, is there (still) a role for a university as a critical and radical institution?

university; knowledge economy; Humboldtian; higher education; excellence; world class; research information management; Education, Higher Aims and objectives; Universities and colleges Accreditation

Power and Education: Volume 4, Issue 3

Publication date31/12/2012
PublisherSymposium Journals