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ERIC Number: EJ942239
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Dec
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0013-1857
Recapturing the Universal in the University
Barnett, Ronald
Educational Philosophy and Theory, v37 n6 p785-797 Dec 2005
The idea of "the university" has stood for universal themes--of knowing, of truthfulness, of learning, of human development, and of critical reason. Through its affirming and sustaining of such themes, the university came itself to stand for universality in at least two senses: the university was neither partial (in its truth criteria) nor local in its significance (at least, the university was an institution of the nation state and even had global significance). Now, this universalism has been shot down: on the one hand, universal themes have been impugned as passe in a postmodern age; in the "knowledge society", knowledge with a capital "K" is giving way to multiple and even local knowledges (plural). On the other hand, the very process of globalization has been accused of being a new process of colonization. Global universities, accordingly, may be seen as a vehicle for the imposition of Western modes of reason (often suspected in turn of being no more than Western economic reason at that). Diversity is the new watchword, a term that--we may note--has come to be part of the framing of the contemporary policy agenda for higher education. Accordingly, in such a situation of multiple meanings, both within and across institutions, the university becomes an institutional means for developing the capacities--at both the personal and the societal levels--to live with "strangeness": perhaps here lies a new universal for the university? But, then, if that is the case, if strangeness is the new universal for the university, some large challenges await those who would claim to lead and manage universities.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A