ERIC Number: EJ857011
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jun
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 86
Discourses of the Contemporary Urban Campus in Europe: Intimations of Americanisation?
McEldowney, Malachy; Gaffikin, Frank; Perry, David C.
Globalisation, Societies and Education, v7 n2 p131-149 Jun 2009
This article studies major structural changes in both the urban context and the internal objectives of universities in Europe. While they enjoy expanded student demand and an elevated role in their city-region economy as significant creators and repositories of knowledge, they simultaneously confront a funding gap in accommodating these higher student access rates, controversies in the definition and delivery of their wider urban obligation, and the task of harmonisation in tertiary provision, as outlined in the 1999 Bologna Declaration. One proposed way of addressing such major shifts in the contemporary context has been to take on the distinctive internal and externally engaged features of the American research university--employing, for example new diverse funding portfolios, new managerialist objectives of corporate efficiency and globalist competitive strategies. This article assesses the extent and implications of any shift to the US model by examining the resonance in European universities of three main discourses that have influenced US higher education in recent times: (i) multiculturalism and diversity, (ii) neo-liberal politics and mixed economic welfare policy, and (iii) globalisation. Through semi-structured interviews with leading personnel in thirteen universities, and related site and document analysis, we determine that substantial evidence exists to suggest that the discourses are not simply US, but rather European as well, portending an institutional shift in the structure, management and contextual levels of engagement of the modern university with its contemporary context. At the same time it would be wrong to assert that the European university has been "Americanised", in that we find, even in these changing times, the critical voice of the academy remains a significant element of the overall civic compact of pluralistic deliberative democracy. (Contains 25 notes.)
Descriptors: Higher Education, Research Universities, Democracy, Interviews, Cultural Pluralism, Foreign Countries, Urban Areas, Educational Objectives, Access to Education, International Cooperation, Global Approach, Administrator Attitudes, Student Diversity, Educational Change, Political Influences, Public Policy
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A