Around the world, what it is to be a university is a matter of much debate. The range of ideas of the university in public circulation is, however, exceedingly narrow and is dominated by the idea of the entrepreneurial university. As a consequence, the debate is hopelessly impoverished. Lurking in the literature, there is a broad and even imaginative array of ideas of the university, but those ideas are seldom heard. We need, consequently, not just more ideas of the university but better ideas.
Imagining the University forensically examines this situation, critically interrogating many of the current ideas of the university. Imagining the University argues for imaginative ideas that are critical, sensitive to the deep structures underlying universities and are yet optimistic, in short feasible utopias of the university. The case is pressed for one such idea, that of the ecological university. The book concludes by offering a vision of the imagining university, a university that has the capacity continually to re-imagine itself.
About the Author:
Ronald Barnett is Emeritus Professor of Higher Education, Institute of Education, University of London. His books include The Idea of Higher Education, A Will to Learn, Beyond All Reason and Being a University. He has been a visiting speaker in thirty-five countries.