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Pinto-Coelho & Carvalho (eds.): Academics Responding to Discourses of Crisis in Higher Education and Research

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PintoCoelhoCarvalho2013Zara Pinto-Coelho & Anabela Carvalho, eds. Academics Responding to Discourses of Crisis in Higher Education and Research. CECS - Centro de Estudos de Comunicação e Sociedade, Universidade do Minho, 2013. ebook

"The University as an idea, as a project, is being transformed. What are its specificitiesin the present days? Do universities still have a public task? What are the appropriate functions of higher education? What are the purposes of teaching and research? What counts as relevant knowledge and what counts as an appropriate higher education? Is the age of Universities (late 11th c-early 21st c.) in the West getting to a close? Whose discourses are achieving dominance?

The reworking of meanings regarding the identity, assumptions, practices and discourses of the university has been profound and contradictory and is a fieldof tensions and disputes within the university and in its relations with the state and society. It is true that the questioning of the university is probably as old as the idea of the university itself, but we have been living through an amplificationof this phenomenon at least since the 1990s, as exemplifiedby a number of scholarly reflctions from that period. In Portugal, Boaventura Sousa Santos wrote then about the triple crisis of the university: a crisis of hegemony, a crisis of legitimacy and an institutional crisis (Santos, 1989). In Canada, Bill Readings published an analysis of the University of Ruins (Readings, 1996) whereas in Brazil, Helgio Trindade edited a book where several scholars discussed the present and the future of the Brazilian university (Trindade, 1999). In Britain, Sheila Slaughter and Larry L. Leslie analyzed what they termed “Academic Capitalism” (Slaughter & Leslie, 1997) and Jeffrey Williams, in the USA, wrote that we had awakened to a brave new world of the university (Williams, 1999). (...)"

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