To save higher education, we must look beyond traditional university models

If we are to radically transform universities, we must seek solutions from diverse learning projects that have historically been excluded from, or remained separate to, higher education, argue Fern Thompsett, Kristen Lyons and Richard Hil

No one paying attention needs reminding that universities are “in crisis”. We are beset by critiques of their complicity with neoliberal and extractive capitalism, dispossession of First Nations, top-heavy administrative regimes, and pedagogical shifts away from critical thinking toward so-called job-ready, marketable skill sets.

When we turn a critical eye toward the history of universities – especially in settler colonial nations such as Australia – we find an uglier truth: universities are not only in crisis; they are of the crisis. That is, universities have been key drivers in the shifts that critical academics, including ourselves, oppose.

Confronting this reality led us to look beyond universities’ institutional and ideological bounds for solutions to the problems plaguing them. What we discovered was complex and hopeful, with projects straddling the inside and outside of universities in creative and subversive ways. Here, we touch on some examples detailed in our book, Transforming Universities in the Midst of Global Crisis: A University for the Common Good.

Find out more here : Times Higher Education

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