Welcome to the Project
This cross-disciplinary project aims to provide a vigorous forum for the examination and evaluation of university and college education. The project is committed to the tradition of liberal education, the inherent value of the pursuit of learning and the principle that knowledge must be an end in itself.
The forum will use an annual conference series to broadly examine the nature and aims of university and college education, its guiding principles, its practical functions, and its role in society. This will be supported by an active publications and research series.
Core Themes fo Development
Key themes to be explored in the development of the project include;
- what a university or college should be; where the idea of what a university or college is should come from; what higher education ‘is’; what the aims of higher education should be; what language best expresses the idea of education
- the nature of education; the role of liberal arts education; ‘instruction’, ‘training’ and ‘vocational training’; the changing roles of and between universities, colleges, and polytechnics; the ‘usefulness’ of education; the ‘value’ of education; learning and distance learning; learning and open learning.
- the changing landscapes of education; ‘students’, ‘pupils’, ‘learners’ and ‘customers’; ‘lecturer’, ‘teacher’, ‘tutor’, ‘mentor’; the rise and impact of student services; course review and evaluation; modularization; the costs of education.
- the ‘business’ of the university – academic freedom and the rise of managerialism; wealth creation; intellectual capital; intellectual copyright; knowledge and research; knowledge and teaching; the preservation of knowledge in libraries, museums, galleries; the diffusion of knowledge through publishing, multimedia, and the Internet.
- external issues impacting on education: funding education; private sector involvement; government involvement; Academic Audit; Research Assessment Exercise; QAA; Teaching Quality Assessment.
- internal issues impacting on education: key skills, transferable skills; access to education – ties with schools; life-long education; adult education; returning to learning; education as a ‘right’; fees, grants, and loans.
- the role of the university in society; the contexts of the university; the needs of society; reconceiving the place and work of the university.
Whilst having a broad remit, the annual project conferences will contain specific focus sessions dealing with the above themes.