Key Activities

The project is built around a regular research video seminar programme, complemented by face-to-face international conferences and publications, for example, in a special issue of the Journal of Higher Education Policy.

Overarching themes to be addressed in all strands of activity include:

  1. The purpose of universities: ideals and realities
  2. Internationalisation
  3. Causes and mechanisms of change

Specific strands for seminars and conferences:

    1. Freedom versus constraint
    2. Externals pressures and agenda
    3. How universities manage contradictory pressures
    4. Configuration and reconfiguration of disciplines
    5. Transformation of students
    6. Communities; identities; loyalties
    7. Different/inconsistent discourses
    8. The changing roles of academics, students and administrators

    In addition to these more or less traditionally ‘academic’ outcomes, this project will have a significant ‘policy’ outcome. This project seeks to inform debate about the future of universities. The process of comparing universities in different societies at different times will create awareness of a greater range of possibilities, and allow us to offer a more informed critique of current planning. In particular we aim to lead the debate about ‘global’ universities.