What Are Universities for? by Stefan Collini

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 1 Critic Review

At one point Collini risks another rhetorical question. As he trudges around the quad, he wonders "what happened to youthful dreams of intellectual excitement and literary glory"...he gives no answer...
-Guardian

Synopsis

Across the world, universities are more numerous than they have ever been, yet at the same time there is unprecedented confusion about their purpose and scepticism about their value. What Are Universities For? offers a spirited and compelling argument for completely rethinking the way we see our universities, and why we need them.

Stefan Collini challenges the common claim that universities need to show that they help to make money in order to justify getting more money. Instead, he argues that we must reflect on the different types of institution and the distinctive roles they play. In particular we must recognize that attempting to extend human understanding, which is at the heart of disciplined intellectual enquiry, can never be wholly harnessed to immediate social purposes - particularly in the case of the humanities, which both attract and puzzle many people and are therefore the most difficult subjects to justify.

At a time when the future of higher education lies in the balance, What Are Universities For? offers all of us a better, deeper and more enlightened understanding of why universities matter, to everyone.

 

About Stefan Collini

See more books from this Author
In recent years, Stefan Collini has become one of the most distinctive and respected voices in public debates about the nature of universities and their place in modern society.He is a frequent contributor to The Guardian, The London Review of Books, The Times Literary Supplement, The Nation, and other publications, as well as an occasional broadcaster.Among his books, Absent Minds: Intellectuals in Britain (2006), a major analysis of the role of the intellectual and its place in British culture, has received particularly widespread attention in both the academic world and the general media, while reviewers of his most recent collection of essays, Common Reading: Critics, Historians, Publics (2008), have described him as 'one of Britain's finest essaysists and writers' - 'he is astute, analytical, and often killingly funny'.His other books include Public Moralists (1991), Matthew Arnold: a Critical Portrait (1994), and English Pasts: Essays in History and Culture (1999); he is also the editor of a widely praised edition of C.P. Snow's The Two Cultures (1993).He is Professor of Intellectual History and English Literature at Cambridge University, and a Fellow of the British Academy.
 
Published February 23, 2012 by Penguin. 209 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for What Are Universities for?
All: 1 | Positive: 0 | Negative: 1

Guardian

Below average
Reviewed by Peter Conrad on Feb 18 2012

At one point Collini risks another rhetorical question. As he trudges around the quad, he wonders "what happened to youthful dreams of intellectual excitement and literary glory"...he gives no answer...

Read Full Review of What Are Universities for? | See more reviews from Guardian

Reader Rating for What Are Universities for?
85%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 7 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×