Centre for Applied Philosophy, Politics and Ethics


2015-16 | What should universities be?

Reading the Ruins: Imagining the Future of Universities  

Stefan Collini, University of Cambridge 1 March 2016 Abstract: The long tradition of writing on ‘the idea of the university’ functions as a form of cultural criticism: current practices and policies are read symptomatically as evidence of deeper failings in… Continue Reading →

Educating homo sapiens 

Howard Hotson, University of Oxford   2 February 2016 Abstract: For over two thousand years, the Western intellectual tradition has been sustained by aspirations, assumptions, ideas, and values ultimately grounded in widely shared conceptions of the human condition. The dilemma… Continue Reading →

What Should Universities Be? Question time with David Eastwood.

David Eastwood, Birmingham University Question Time  19 January 2016   Speaker: Professor Sir David Eastwood became Vice-Chancellor of the University of Birmingham in April 2009. Previously, he was Chief Executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), a post… Continue Reading →

Academic Freedom in an Age of Conformity: Confronting the Fear of Knowledge

Jo Williams 5 January 2016 Abstract: Once, scholars demanded academic freedom to critique existing knowledge and to pursue new truths. Today, while fondness for the rhetoric of academic freedom remains, the concept itself is increasingly criticised as outdated and elitist…. Continue Reading →

The Politicisation of the Universities? 

David Salomon 8 December 2015 Abstract: The idea of the university in Germany is closely connected to Wilhelm von Humboldt’s “Neuhumanismus” and his conception of “Bildung”. According to this classical idea of the university, the freedom of “Wissenschaft” implies political… Continue Reading →

Deconstructing the Sovereign Student

Elizabeth Nixon and Richard Scullion 24 November 2015 Abstract: Intensifying marketization across Higher Education (HE) in the UK continues to generate critical commentary on the potentially devastating consequences of market logic for pedagogy. In this lecture, we consider the student-consumer… Continue Reading →

Universities and the Neoliberal Agenda? 

Bob Brecher, University of Brighton 10 November 2015 Abstract: I argue that to understand the neo-liberals’ ideological agenda for our universities, we need to try to get clear about some of its realities, and in particular two: its ideological commitment… Continue Reading →

What Should Universities Be? 

David Willetts   13 October 2015 Abstract: David Willetts will analyse the different roles of the modern university and the different types of benefits they bring. He will argue that universities do bring substantial economic benefits but that these are… Continue Reading →

Higher Education: a Feminist Critique

Miriam David 27 October 2015 Abstract: I discuss recent developments in HE and those in feminist critiques of the disciplines and their pedagogies and practices, particularly in the social sciences with a focus on sociology and education. I will also… Continue Reading →

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