10 September 2017

Is higher education’s public good role under attack?

In a new article, Professor Ellen Hazelkorn investigates the growing tensions between higher education and society.

She argues that such tensions are becoming both more visible and at times more contentious. As a consequence, the social contract that has underpinned public support for higher education is under threat.

Professor Hazelkorn highlights the fact that universities are regarded as too self-serving and insufficiently interested in student learning or outcomes.

The focus of governments on performance and outcomes is undermining academic self-governance, and higher education has also recently been at odds with nationalist and nativist ideologies.

Such developments, she argues, are changing how the ‘public good’ is determined in practice by universities, governments and the public. Universities face a new challenge of findings ways to provide for the needs of society.

Is the Public Good Role of Higher Education Under Attack? is published in International Higher Education.