The Liverpool Lens: The Ideal of the University
|21 October, 2014||Filled under Debates, Previous Events||
A conversation on the changing shape of Higher Education
Leaf Café on Bold Street, Liverpool L1 4EZ at 7.00pm on Monday, November, 3rd
Higher Education in Britain has never seemed more popular or more important. Alongside growing numbers attending universities, there has been an explosion in on-line learning, alongside the growth of MOOCs and an increasing emphasis on the need for professional and vocational qualifications. Despite warnings that increasing numbers of students, especially from the newer universities, may be failing to find professional outlets to match their qualifications, university degrees are considered indispensable for achieving in life. ‘Going to Uni’ appears to have become an almost unquestioned and essential rite of passage. Indeed, it is anticipated that there will be some 20% more places available in 2015-6.
Amidst so many changing priorities, the Liverpool Salon asks, are universities in danger of losing their way? Are traditional principles of knowledge for its own sake – whether expressed in blue skies research or in principled support for academic freedom – being sacrificed in the interests of cost cutting, marketing or the increasing focus on vocational needs? And what about the role of the university as a critical space where ideas are formed and expressed often as a challenge to received wisdom? Are these freedoms under threat? Are the intellectual foundations of universities being irrevocably undermined? Or are we seeing a necessary adjustment to the practical requirements of new national and global markets for higher education and new, more democratic ways of thinking about learning and knowledge?
If you want to explore these themes in further depth, please come along to join in the Liverpool Salon’s new series of convivial conversations, the Liverpool Lens. The idea is to continue conversations in between more formal debates. We want people to join us to identify and explore new topics. By thinking about global issues and how they impact locally in the Merseyside region and placing contemporary political and cultural trends under the lens, we want to identify underlying causes, currents and influences. We expect that topics under scrutiny will inform future programming of Liverpool Salon panel discussions and debates. Every participant is asked to buy a drink and we will make a small charge of £2 per head to raise funds for the Liverpool Salon. Places are limited so don’t delay.