Civic roles, random callings: discerning the university mission [Guest editors' introduction]

Article


O'Shea, Eidin and McDonald, Lisa. 2015. "Civic roles, random callings: discerning the university mission [Guest editors' introduction]." Social Alternatives. 34 (2), pp. 3-5.
Article Title

Civic roles, random callings: discerning the university mission [Guest editors' introduction]

ERA Journal ID19019
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsO'Shea, Eidin (Author) and McDonald, Lisa (Author)
Journal TitleSocial Alternatives
Journal Citation34 (2), pp. 3-5
Number of Pages3
Year2015
Place of PublicationMaroochydore, QLD, Australia
ISSN0155-0306
Web Address (URL)http://socialalternatives.com/home
Abstract

Higher education nationally and internationally is immersed in cultural change and fiscal challenge which is focused on competition and a ‘tyranny of excellence’ (Butler and Spoelstra 2015; Smith, 2015: 135). These demands on universities for greater social accountability have prompted a call for new kinds of universities – institutions which operate outside the ‘ivory tower’, and which are responsive to the challenges and needs of society (Barber, Donnelly and Rizvi 2013). These ‘new’ universities have been variously described by terms such as ‘open’, (Miller and Sabapathy 2011), ‘innovative’ (Christensen and Eyring 2011) and ‘public’ (Burawoy 2011). Goddard’s (2009) concept of a ‘civic university’ also proposes that all publicly funded higher education institutions have a civic duty to engage with the wider society at local, national and international levels on issues of relevance. Goddard’s comments appear to support an era of university engagement which is tied to broader imperatives of relevance. Yet how is such relevance configured, and how does it shape the ‘third’, or entrepreneurial, mission of universities if recourse to research-led curricula or socially inspired scholarship is diminished? While inviting further deliberation, it is nevertheless clear that engagement is now core business of all universities.

ANZSRC Field of Research 2020390201. Education policy
390303. Higher education
390403. Educational administration, management and leadership
390301. Continuing and community education
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Byline AffiliationsUniversity of Technology Sydney
Australian Digital Futures Institute
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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