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Don Berkich

The plodding rate of change within higher education makes it ill-suited to anticipate the challenges rapidly looming in government and corporate sectors. This prospectus outlines those challenges and describes a bold solution. If implemented, it would signal a less hidebound, more adroit institution of higher education to better serve students, business, and society, while fostering a new future for higher education.

Trystan S. Goetze

Current disputes over the nature and purpose of the university are rooted in a philosophical divide between theory and practice. Academics often defend the concept of a university devoted to purely theoretical activities. Politicians and wider society tend to argue that the university should take on more practical concerns. I critique two typical defenses of the theoretical concept—one historical and one based on the value of pure research—and show that neither the theoretical nor the practical concept of a university accommodates all the important goals expected of university research and teaching. Using the classical pragmatist argument against a sharp division between theory and practice, I show how we can move beyond the debate between the theoretical and practical concepts of a university, while maintaining a place for pure and applied research, liberal and vocational education, and social impact through both economic applications and criticism aimed at promoting social justice.

Christophe Point

With this proposal, we wish to revisit the Idea of the University in the perspective of the democratic project of the American philosopher and pragmatist John Dewey. Our hypothesis consists in the thesis that the deweyen project confronts the problem of the social distribution of knowledge, in the aim of giving us the means to transform the latter. In this way, if we consider that the university is part of this distribution through its student learning function, then our purpose is to demonstrate that this learning is currently guided by an individual intelligence paradigm harms that the development of collective intelligence. For John Dewey, the latter is one of the central means of his democratic project which would reconcile the Idea of a University with real University institutions. Therefore, according to him, if universities want to contribute to the democratic project, we must adopt a new pedagogical orientation promoting individual and collective intelligence.

Finn Collin

Søren S. E. Bengtsen, Sune Frølund and Asger Sørensen

Asger Sørensen

The idea of the university is habitually discussed in relation to German or English language classics. Instead, I will focus on the Spanish language periphery arguing that the discussions there merit attention for distinguishing between three central Old World models of the university, namely, apart from the English and the German, also a French one. Moreover, the marginal perspective stresses the social and political importance of the university. In this perspective, José Ortega y Gasset deserves attention for arguing for a university in the service of a modern republican state. Ortega stresses the importance of a cultural formation that includes the sciences to make enlightened decisions, the distinction between teaching a discipline and doing research within it, and that between a scientist doing research and a highly educated professional practitioner. Unfortunately, the role of knowledge and truth is neglected. The argument from the periphery is therefore necessary albeit not sufficient.