Universities and Reflexive Modernity

Institutional Ambiguities and Unintended Consequences
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Publication date: 
204 pages, 15 tables

A book about the challenges and uncertainties facing today’s university, a chronicle of recent and current changes in higher education in the world. There are many questions today that are sufficiently open to doubt and profoundly related to new developments, to justify our starting new enquiries, here and now, by looking freshly and more closely at the actual configurations and at their historical grounds, for providing the new standard account of the university today.

Vlasceanu discusses the inherent contradiction between academia on the one hand, and expectations and regulations of the market on the other. Analyses demographic and other statistical characteristics of today’s higher education. Examines the financial basis of universities in various countries, and describes current governance models. Finally the author sets up a new typology of universities.

List of Tables



Part I Coping with Uncertainties

Chapter 1 The Clash Between Academic Traditions, Markets and GATS

1.1. Introduction

1.2. Triggering the debate

1.3. Higher education as an academic and/or as a service world. The place of “boundary objects”

1.4. Searching for “boundary objects”

1.5. Higher education between market and “public good”

1.6. Academic mobility and certain other transformations in the academic space

1.7. Correspondences between GATS modes of services trade and instances of academic mobility

1.8. Academic mobility and trade in higher education

1.9. A conclusion

Chapter 2 Demography and Higher Education. Risks and Prospective Approaches

2.1. The demographic “tyranny of numbers” and some complementarities

2.2. Numbers and flows of students

2.3. Some complementarities

2.4. Consequences of an approach

2.5. Contextualizing demographic prospects

2.6. Globalization: academic mobility and demographic migration reconsidered

2.7. Higher education institutions at a crossroads

Part II The New World of Higher Education

Chapter 3 University and Development: A Vicious or a Virtuous Circle?

3.1. Identifying connections

3.2. Market culture and academic culture

3.3. A change of paradigm: the “education industry” is emerging

3.4. The corporate university and the “education industry”

3.5. Is education industry a reality or a metaphor?

3.6. Peaks in a maze of numbers

Chapter 4 Academic Transformation: Continuities and Discontinuities

4.1. Identifying factors of change

4.2. Identifying a new typology of universities

4.3. The traditional university

4.4. The market university

4.5. The transitory or reflexive university

4.6. Facing dilemmas: the need to choose