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date: 19 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Such is the speed of change and the large number of forces changing, that response by university leaders is, not surprisingly, without a robust and widely accepted basis. The role of universities has traditionally been seen as fostering for a society a combination of human capabilities that may be judged in terms of their merit or practical utility, or their worth as adding to a society’s overall quality as a form of civilization. The former of these is now in the ascendant, driven by rising demand and so societal cost, and by the real needs of the economy for human skills. It is argued here that universities might take the initiative in rebalancing this bias, and in doing so to engage with the wider policies about societal needs that are less well articulated than are the more immediate demands.

Keywords: societal change, higher education, societal institutions, educational policy, capability

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