What are universities for?Mariette Jones and Maureen Spencer Department of Law !
Public/private good(s)‘Higher education institutions are more or less public and private according to the policy and funding configuration chosen for them. In turn that configuration always rests on one or another philosophical position.’ (Marginson p. 413)
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills‘The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is building a dynamic and competitive UK economy….to achieve this it will foster world class universities and promote an open global economy’.
Public good• Democratic forms• Openness• Social criticism
Liberal higher education• Euro- focused?• Training for a certain kind of citizenship- individualist, rationalistic, belief in progress
104 Respondents Max possible respondents respondents Percentage responded Country 51% (SA) Actual (53 total)18% (Mu) UK 143 31 22%20 total 30% (UK) 31 total SA 1700 53 3% Maur- 60 20 33% itius
Age & nationalityUnder 2185% Home 22-29 students International 10% 75% students 25% 5%
a) Universities should be funded by central government.9080706050 Total40 UK30 SA20 Mau100 Strongly agree or agree Neither agree nor Disagree disagree
b) Universities should help develop the economy.100 90 80 70 60 Total 50 UK 40 SA 30 Mau 20 10 0 Agree Neither agree nor Disagree disagree
d) Universities should encourage learning for its own sake.9080706050 Total40 UK30 SA20 Mau100 Agree Neither agree nor Disagree disagree
e) Universities should have concern for the public good as well as advancing the career ambitions of students.100 90 80 70 60 Total 50 UK 40 SA 30 Mau 20 10 0 agree Neither agree nor Disagree disagree
g) Universities should only teach subjects which are useful for getting jobs. Total 35% 42% Disagree Agree 20% Neither
n) Universities should train studentsfor work but it is not their only task. TOTAL (Uni is)…a place where you 13% learn more about yourself neither ...it channels you to think as an individual… I have learnt to question the things that I am surrounded 81% agree by .
k) It is still worth graduating from universityeven though graduate job opportunities may be limited.100 90 “A job will be there for sure.. But a job 80 that I will suit best.. it is not the course or subject that determines the 70 job (Mau) 60 TOTAL 50 UK 40 SA 30 Mau 20 10 0 Agree Neither agree nor Disagree disagree
f) It is important to me that university staffshould conduct research into their disciplines as well as teach students. Total 2% 12% Agree Neither agree nor disagree Disagree 85%
i) Universities should be prepared to be critical of powerful elements in society.9080706050 TOTAL40 UK30 SA20 Mau100 6% Agree Neither agree nor Disagree disagree
l) Being at a university has opened my mind to different ways of looking at the world.100 90 80 70 60 TOTAL 50 UK 40 SA 30 Mau 20 10 0 Agree Neither agree nor Disagree disagree
o) Universities should play a major role in fostering a democratic, inclusive society.100 90 80 70 60 TOTAL 50 UK 40 SA 30 Mau 20 10 0 Agree Neither agree nor Disagree disagree
Q3: My main reason for coming to University was: Total 9% To get a good job when I leave 26% To learn more about the 65% subject of my degree Other
Some ‘other’ main reasons for coming to Uni:• …now I know what it is that I want to be and that is to be an advocate not the chartered accountant that all career guidance counsellors thought would be fitting for me (SA)• I do not want to ever be faced with limitations or the you can not do this phrase (SA)• to educate one self and pass knowledge to others (UK)
Q4: In what way do you think universitiesdiffer from school and/or college (if at all)?• University is harder• They promote broad-mindedness and deeper level of thinking• Universities encourage self learning.• No one cares what you do and if you hand in your assignments. its survival of the fittest and you fall and get up again before you finish your studies, that’s if you even finish.
Q5: Please complete the followingsentence: “In my opinion a university is a place where...”• one gains independent learning skills (UK)• you develop yourself as a person (UK)• leaders learn (SA)• people of different backgrounds come together to learn and teach each other new things (SA)• people grow (Mu)• …start building the adult we want to be. (Mu)
Q6: Any further comment(s) on how you perceive the role and function of a university.• link between society and economy (UK)• …provides society with a source of educated and learned individuals capable filling up leadership roles … (UK)• Opens opportunities to people who might not have them without universities. (UK)• help me get out of poverty through getting a qualification (SA)• To …shape those who will shape tomorrow (Mu)
j) Universities should encourage instudents a sense of global rather than just national citizenship.100 90 80 70 60 TOTAL 50 UK 40 SA 30 Mau 20 10 0 Agree Neither agree nor Disagree disagree
ReferencesCollini S (2012) What are universities for? Penguin.Midgeley R (2010) ‘South Africa: legal education in a transitional society’ in Stakeholders in the Space/Time Options ‘The dominant tendency fragments space and cuts it up into pieces… it bases its image of the forces occupying space on the idea that space is a passive receptacle.’ H. Lefebvre The Production of Space (2005) p89 Law School Cownie F (ed) Hart.Marginson S (2011) ‘Higher education and public good’. HEQ 411.