British Journal of Educational Studies 57 (1):1 - 17 (2009)
|Abstract||The purposes of higher education in general and of university education in particular have long been subject to controversy. Whereas for some, the main role of universities is to provide professional and vocational education and training and their benefits are to be measured in terms of social or economic utility, their value for others is to be seen more in terms of the liberal development and promotion of certain intrinsically worthwhile qualities of mind and intellect. In this context, indeed, much recent literature on university education has been concerned to reaffirm what are usually taken to have been the liberal purposes of bygone university education over the more instrumental or vocational agendas of much contemporary university and higher education. While recognising, along with other treatments of this issue, that it is to some extent implicated in a false dichotomy between the liberal and the vocational, this paper seeks a clearer rationale for the liberal dimensions and aspirations of university education.|
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