The range of ideas of the university in public circulation is, exceedingly narrow and is dominated by the idea of the entrepreneurial university. As a consequence, the debate is hopelessly impoverished. Accordingly, we need not just more ideas of the university but better ideas. A move towards a feasible utopia would be a reimagined ecological university. Such an idea would have considerable implications for the way in which we design curricula, for our approaches to teaching and for our understanding as to what it is to be a student. The ecological university is a unique take on higher education that is especially suited to the contemporary world. Join us as we imagine the university with Ron Barnett.
Ronald Barnett is Emeritus Professor of Higher Education at University College London Institute of Education, his work focusing on the conceptual and theoretical understanding of the university and higher education. His (21) books include Realizing the University in an age of supercomplexity, A Will to Learn: Being a Student in an Age of Uncertainty and Beyond All Reason: Living with Ideology in the University. Currently, he is working on a trilogy, with Being a University and Imagining the University now published and Understanding the University currently ‘in press’. He is a past-Chair of the Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE), has been awarded the inaugural prize by the European Association for Educational Research for his ‘outstanding contribution to Higher Education Research, Policy and Practice’, and is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, the SRHE and the HEA. He is also a Visiting Professor at several universities both in the UK and abroad. He has been an invited speaker in around 40 countries.