Realizing The University

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 12/1/1999
  • Publisher: Open University Press
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The university has lost its way. The world needs the university more than ever but for new reasons. If we are to clarify its new role in the world, we need to find a new vocabulary and a new sense of purpose. The university is faced with supercomplexity, in which our very frames of understanding, action and self-identity are all continually challenged. In such a world, the university has explicitly to take on a dual role: firstly, of compounding supercomplexity, so making the world ever more challenging; and secondly, of enabling us to live effectively in this chaotic world. Internally, too, the university has to become a new kind of organization, adept at fulfilling this dual role. The university has to live by the uncertainty principle: it has to generate uncertainty, to help us live with uncertainty, and even to revel in our uncertainty. Ronald Barnett offers nothing less than a fundamental reworking of the way in which we understand the modern university. Realizing the University is essential reading for all those concerned about the future of higher education.

Author Biography

Ronald Barnett is Professor of Higher Education and Dean of Professional Development at the Institute of Education, University of London. His earlier books include The Idea of Higher Education, The Limits of Competence, and Higher Education: A Critical Business.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements x
Introduction 1(8)
Part 1: The End is Night 9(50)
Death and Resurrection
The End of Enlightenment?
The Ends of Knowledge
The Fading Constellations
Part 2: Supercomplexity and the University 59(38)
The Constellation of Fragility
Supercomplexity: the New Universal
The Conflict of the Faculties
Part 3: Reframing the University 97(28)
Conditions of the University
A Suitable Ethos
Part 4: Realizing the University 125(48)
Constructing the University
Research in a Supercomplex World
Teaching for a Supercomplex World
Notes 173(10)
Bibliography 183(10)
Index 193(8)
The Society for Research into Higher Education 201

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