A college is, at its heart, an association or community of people having a common purpose: in the University context this common purpose is the pursuit of scholarship, at the core of the richest possible development of the whole person.
The point of this book is to share experiences of college life, to identify and spread good practice, to bring together in conversation representatives from the widest possible range of colleges worldwide. Like the ground-breaking conference that preceded it, this book—the first of its kind—aims to promulgate the collegiate way of organising a university, to celebrate our colleges, however different they may be, and to learn from one another. It seeks to continue the conversations and to articulate the benefits of a collegiate way of organising a university.
Establishing and maintaining colleges needs no justification to those who have experience of them—but all who work within collegiate systems are familiar with the need to be able to articulate their benefits to those outside, and to show how such benefits justify the additional cost-base of the collegiate experience. How is this best achieved?
Colleges come in different forms and according to different models, be they constituent parts of a larger university or free-standing institutions. But whatever their constitution, colleges are first and foremost scholarly communities: special and distinct places where people come together as scholars within the setting of a shared community life.