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Magna Charta Observatory 20th anniversary University of Bologna September 19th 2008. Presentation of an essay Inventing tomorrow’s university Who is to take the lead?. Jón Torfi Jónasson Professor of Education University of Iceland [email protected] http://www.hi.is/~jtj/.

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Presentation of an essay inventing tomorrow s university who is to take the lead

Magna Charta Observatory

20th anniversary

University of Bologna

September 19th 2008

Presentation of an essayInventing tomorrow’s universityWho is to take the lead?

Jón Torfi JónassonProfessor of Education

University of Iceland

[email protected] http://www.hi.is/~jtj/


The presentation overview
The presentation: overview

Preamble

Introduction: the stage

The idea of a university

The stakeholders

The future

A challenge

Jón Torfi Jónasson - Magna Charta Observatory - Bologna 2008


Preamble
Preamble

The background

The audience, the readers for whom the text is written

A challenge to take positive action

The information society

So what?

Jón Torfi Jónasson - Magna Charta Observatory - Bologna 2008


Setting the stage
Setting the stage

The importance of universities

The self-image of universities

The growth of universities

Jón Torfi Jónasson - Magna Charta Observatory - Bologna 2008




Higher education enrolment in the us 1900 2004
Higher education: enrolment in the US 1900-2004 2008

Jón Torfi Jónasson - Magna Charta Observatory - Bologna 2008


Higher education enrolment in the us 1900 20041
Higher education: enrolment in the US 1900-2004 2008

Jón Torfi Jónasson - Magna Charta Observatory - Bologna 2008


Higher education enrolment in the us 1900 20042
Higher education: enrolment in the US 1900-2004 2008

Jón Torfi Jónasson - Magna Charta Observatory - Bologna 2008


Higher education enrolment in the us 1900 20043
Higher education: enrolment in the US 1900-2004 2008

Jón Torfi Jónasson - Magna Charta Observatory - Bologna 2008


Higher education enrolment in japan 1900 2004
Higher education: enrolment in Japan 1900-2004 2008

Jón Torfi Jónasson - Magna Charta Observatory - Bologna 2008


Higher education enrolment in japan 1900 20041
Higher education: enrolment in Japan 1900-2004 2008

Jón Torfi Jónasson - Magna Charta Observatory - Bologna 2008


Higher education enrolment in japan 1900 20042
Higher education: enrolment in Japan 1900-2004 2008

Jón Torfi Jónasson - Magna Charta Observatory - Bologna 2008


Higher education enrolment in japan 1900 20043
Higher education: enrolment in Japan 1900-2004 2008

Jón Torfi Jónasson - Magna Charta Observatory - Bologna 2008



Setting the stage1
Setting the stage 2008

The importance of universities

The self-image of universities

The growth of universities

The moulding forces (must be understood)

The students, governments, the (global) market, the institutions

The issues (must also be appreciated)

Finances, governance, differentiation, teaching – research,

how professional education is conducted, egalitarian role, …

Jón Torfi Jónasson - Magna Charta Observatory - Bologna 2008


The idea
The idea 2008

The development of the university from the middle ages extending into the 21st century

The development of the idea of service

to truth, knowledge, science

to society

The operational idea

community of scholars

the combination of research and teaching

community of teachers and students

creating a dynamic environment

Jón Torfi Jónasson - Magna Charta Observatory - Bologna 2008


Are there invariants
Are there invariants? 2008

With reference to its mission?

Well, but perhaps not, …

With reference to its function?

Yes, professional education, …

With reference to its operation?

Yes, communities of practice, …

The principles of the Magna Charta in this context

Autonomy, teaching and research, academic freedom, humanistic tradition

Jón Torfi Jónasson - Magna Charta Observatory - Bologna 2008


The stakeholders and the university
The stakeholders and the university 2008

Whom does the university serve?

Whom should the university serve?

A long-term or a short-term perspective

LT Serves society, global, national, local

ST Different stakeholders,

a variety of interests within society

perhaps a number of conflicts of interests

Jón Torfi Jónasson - Magna Charta Observatory - Bologna 2008


The stakeholders and the university the short term perspective
The stakeholders and the university: 2008 The short-term perspective

Stakeholders such as

The students

Knowledge, science, truth

Democracy, open society, egalitarian society

The national economy, the new economy

The local economy, the local society

Industry

The professions

The labour unions

The institutions of higher education

Jón Torfi Jónasson - Magna Charta Observatory - Bologna 2008


The stakeholders and the university the short term perspective potential conflicts
The stakeholders and the university: 2008 The short-term perspective – potential conflicts

A multitude of potential conflicts of interests between a variety of actors

Governments may want

More knowledge, science, truth, but …

Democracy, open, egalitarian society, but …

A strong economy, but …

Strong local economies and communities, but …

Science may want more money, more independence, but

must respect the immediate interests of those who pay

must understand that science is not applied, used

by some magic process

Jón Torfi Jónasson - Magna Charta Observatory - Bologna 2008


The future
The future 2008

Growth in numbers, already alluded to

Scenarios

The probable, possible or preferable

The CHEPS scenarios

Centralia, Octavia, Vitis Vinifera

Who decides, which type of scenario transpires?

Jón Torfi Jónasson - Magna Charta Observatory - Bologna 2008


The future the preferable
The future, the preferable 2008

Service to

truth, knowledge and science

society, in many diverse ways

Retain or gain

status, respect,

financial strength, a dynamic operation

Jón Torfi Jónasson - Magna Charta Observatory - Bologna 2008


The challenge for the future
The challenge, for the future 2008

Taking note of the strong forces operating on the university

and ensure that they do not abdicate control to

the market, the financial inducements

the metrics industry

the notion of excellence

the dynamics within the HE sector, academic drift (of many sorts), …

Consider the students and the reality of credentialism

The importance of self-confidence:

Strategy characterised by independence rather than conformity

Jón Torfi Jónasson - Magna Charta Observatory - Bologna 2008


The challenge who is to take the leaad
The challenge: who is to take the leaad? 2008

The answer is perhaps quite simple, it is the universities themselves, they have a unique position within their societies,

they have the competence,

perspective, respect and distance, and the

sense of purpose to do this

And perhaps it is most sensible that each and every institution adopts to a fair extent its own agenda, based on a clear understanding of the societal dynamics that control the development of society.

But to the extent the university remains one of the most powerful tools for change within society, its overall controlling framework will probably, and rightly, remain in the hands of the political powers.

Jón Torfi Jónasson - Magna Charta Observatory - Bologna 2008


The challenge to the universities
The challenge, to the universities 2008

A major problem?!

The future strength of the university: it will be strong

Remember who are there

Therefore it should retain its self-confidence and substantive judgement in order to nurture its resolve to execute its critical functions for an open, egalitarian and a dynamic global society,

by cultivating knowledge, truth and critical discourse

adopting a critical attitude and humility towards its own discourse

ensuring a combination of liberal and specialised education

and by securing the operational structure which fosters collegiality and the spirit of dynamic communities of practice.

Jón Torfi Jónasson - Magna Charta Observatory - Bologna 2008


Thank you 2008

Jón Torfi Jónasson - Magna Charta Observatory - Bologna 2008


Inventing tomorrow s university who is to take the lead

Magna Charta Observatory 2008

20th anniversary

University of Bologna

September 19th 2008

Inventing tomorrow’s universityWho is to take the lead?

The universities themselves?!They can and they should.

Jón Torfi JónassonProfessor of Education

University of Iceland

[email protected] http://www.hi.is/~jtj/


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