What’s Happening to Universities? Historical and Comparative Perspectives

Professor Stefan Collini, Professor of Intellectual History and English Literature at Cambridge University

Co-presented with the Department of History, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

23 September, 2014

In recent years, universities across the world have been experiencing dramatic changes in their forms of funding, assessment, and governance, leaving many (both inside and outside these institutions) alarmed and disoriented. In this lecture, Stefan Collini attempts to place these changes in a comparative and historical perspective, examining some of the forms taken by the complex dialectical relation between universities and their host societies over the past hundred years or more. He then goes on to consider the assumptions underlying current policy and to ask what kinds of university we can expect to see develop in the twenty-first century.

After his lecture Professor Collini will be joined by Professor Duncan Ivison, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, at the University of Sydney, for a conversation. They will both then take questions from the audience on the topic.

Professor Stefan Collini

Professor Stefan Collini is Professor of Intellectual History and English Literature at Cambridge University. In recent years he has become one of the most distinctive and respected voices in public debates about the nature of universities and their place in modern society, especially following the publication in 2012 of What Are Universities For?, while Absent Minds: Intellectuals in Britain (2006), is a major analysis of the role of the intellectual and its place in British culture. His other books include Public Moralists (1991), Matthew Arnold: a Critical Portrait (1994), English Pasts: Essays in History and Culture (1999), and Common Reading: Critics, Historians, Publics (2008). He is a Fellow of the British Academy and a frequent contributor to The Guardian, The London Review of Books, The Times Literary Supplement, The Nation, and other publications, as well as an occasional broadcaster.