Recapturing the universal in the university

Educational Philosophy and Theory 37 (6):785–797 (2005)
Abstract
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 nor local in its significance . Now, this universalism has been shot down: on the one hand, universal themes have been impugned as passé in a postmodern age; in the ‘knowledge society’, knowledge with a capital ‘K’ is giving way to multiple and even local knowledges . 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 . 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
Keywords relativism   university  knowledge  complexity  research  postmodernism  teaching
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Robyn Barnacle (2009). Gut Instinct: The Body and Learning. Educational Philosophy and Theory 41 (1):22-33.
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