What is a university degree for? What can it offer to students? Is it only about getting a job? How can we measure the quality of an undergraduate degree? In his newly published book, Paul Ashwin shows how, around the world, economic arguments have come to dominate our thinking about the purpose and nature of university education. He argues that we have lost a sense of the educational purposes of an undergraduate degree and the ways in which going to university can transform students’ lives. The book challenges a series of myths related to the purposes, educational processes, and quality of an undergraduate education and argues that these myths have fuelled the current misunderstanding of the educational aspects of higher education. The book explores what is needed to reinvigorate our understanding of a university education.
This book launch will offer an overview of the book’s argument and feature responses from three leading commentators on higher education research, policy and practice.
“In a noisy world filled with a cacophony of sound bites, Paul Ashwin challenges the merits of the current narrative that higher education is failing to provide what students and society need to thrive in uncertain times. His incisive, reasoned analysis is both critical of certain institutional practices while persuasively explaining what the contemporary university needs to do to realize its overarching educational purposes.” – George D. Kuh, Chancellor’s Professor Emeritus of Higher Education, Indiana University, USA
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Paul Ashwin is a Co-Investigator on CGHE’s global higher education engagement research programme and leads CGHE’s local higher education engagement research programme.
Jenni Case is a Co-Investigator on CGHE’s global higher education engagement research programme and CGHE’s local higher education engagement research programme.
Simon Marginson is Professor of Higher Education at the University of Oxford, Director of the ESRC/OFSRE Centre for Global Higher Education (CGHE), Joint Editor-in-Chief of Higher Education, and Lead Researcher with Higher School of Economics in Moscow. Simon’s research is focused primarily on global and international higher education, the contributions of higher education and higher education as a public and common good, and higher education and social inequality. At Oxford he leads the MSc (Education) subject on ‘Global higher education’. His recent books include Higher Education in Federal Countries, edited with Martin Carnoy, Isak Froumin and Oleg Leshukov (Sage, 2018) and High Participation Systems of Higher Education, edited with Brendan Cantwell and Anna Smolentseva (Oxford University Press, 2018).
As Wonkhe’s editor, Debbie has oversight of Wonkhe’s daily insight, debate and analysis of higher education policy. Debbie has previously worked in policy and communications roles at Universities UK, the University of Bedfordshire, and the National Union of Students. She holds a DPhil in English literature from the University of Oxford and a Masters in research in higher education policy, evaluation and enhancement from Lancaster University. Debbie is interested in bringing to light new and less-represented perspectives to inform policy and practice in higher education.