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Ideas, intellectuals and the role of the university

This theme covers a range of interests and issues to do with the very idea of a university, and how traditional understandings of the work of ideas, intellectuals and academics may be changing rather profoundly. The theme encourages debates and seminars around such topics as

  • changing processes of knowledge production in the ‘knowledge society’
  • commercialisation of universities as institutions
  • questions of professionalism and expertise
  • the role of academics as public intellectuals
  • ‘Culture wars’ around, and new epistemologies of, the relationship between science and values.

Within this broad thematic umbrella, IAS is pleased to flag up and support a particular set of projects and meetings convened by Ian Wei in Historical Studies and Lisa Lucas in the Graduate School of Education under the title Ideas and Universities. This programme, which also involves Worldwide Universities Network partners, explores the ways in which ideas have found institutional expression in universities from the emergence of the earliest European universities in the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries up to today. It is also concerned, in the contemporary setting, with international experiences and models of higher education, and different views of the global university today.