Being a University
Routledge – 2011 – 188 pages
There is no single idea of the university. Ever since its medieval origin, the concept of the university has continued to change. The metaphysical university gave way successively to the scientific university, and then to the corporate and the entrepreneurial university. But what, then, might lie ahead?
Being a University both charts this conceptual development and examines the future possibilities for the idea of the university. Ronald Barnett pursues this quest through an exploration of pairs of contending concepts that speak to the idea of the university – such as space and time; being and becoming; and culture and anarchy. On this foundation is developed an imaginative exposition of possible ideas of the university, including the liquid university and the authentic university.
In the course of this inquiry, it is argued that:
Being a University will be of wide interest, to institutional leaders and managers, higher education planners, academics in all disciplines and students of higher education, in educational policy and politics, and the philosophy, sociology and theory of education, and indeed, anyone who believes in the future of the university.
Introduction: Being Possible Part 1: Stages of Being 1. The Metaphysical University 2. The Scientific University 3. The Entrepreneurial University 4. The Bureaucratic University Part 2: Contending Concepts 5. Being and Becoming 6. Space and Time 7. Culture and Anarchy 8. Authenticity and Responsibility Part 3: Becoming Possible 9. The Liquid University 10. The Therapeutic University 11. The Authentic University 12. The Ecological University Coda: The Spirit of the University
Ronald Barnett is Emeritus Professor of Higher Education at the Institute of Education, University of London, UK.