Civic roles, random callings: discerning the university mission [Guest editors' introduction]

O'Shea, Eidin and McDonald, Lisa (2015) Civic roles, random callings: discerning the university mission [Guest editors' introduction]. Social Alternatives, 34 (2). pp. 3-5. ISSN 0155-0306


Higher education nationally and internationally is immersed in cultural change and fiscal challenge which is focused on competition and a ‘tyranny of excellence’ (Butler and Spoelstra 2015; Smith, 2015: 135). These demands on universities for greater social accountability have prompted a call for new kinds of universities – institutions which operate outside the ‘ivory tower’, and which are responsive to the challenges and needs of society (Barber, Donnelly and Rizvi 2013). These ‘new’ universities have been variously described by terms such as ‘open’, (Miller and Sabapathy 2011), ‘innovative’ (Christensen and Eyring 2011) and ‘public’ (Burawoy 2011). Goddard’s (2009) concept of a ‘civic university’ also proposes that all publicly funded higher education institutions have a civic duty to engage with the wider society at local, national and international levels on issues of relevance. Goddard’s comments appear to support an era of university engagement which is tied to broader imperatives of relevance. Yet how is such relevance configured, and how does it shape the ‘third’, or entrepreneurial, mission of universities if recourse to research-led curricula or socially inspired scholarship is diminished? While inviting further deliberation, it is nevertheless clear that engagement is now core business of all universities.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to Published version in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - No Department
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2016 05:57
Last Modified: 28 Jul 2016 23:49
Fields of Research : 16 Studies in Human Society > 1605 Policy and Administration > 160506 Education Policy
13 Education > 1301 Education Systems > 130103 Higher Education
13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130304 Educational Administration, Management and Leadership
13 Education > 1301 Education Systems > 130101 Continuing and Community Education
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970113 Expanding Knowledge in Education

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