VC's Lecture - Transforming the University: An Ecological Approach

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Monday 9 July 2018

You are invited to the annual Vice-Chancellor's Lecture, delivered by Professor Ronald Barnett, author of The Ecological University: A Feasible Utopia (2018).

Professor Barnett will discuss institutional transformation in an uncertain and interconnected world.

In the current atmosphere, ‘environmental scanning’, ‘scenario planning’, ‘transformation’, ‘complexity’, ‘uncertainty’, ‘sustainability’, and ‘innovation’ all figure in universities’ corporate plans. And, less frequently, universities attempt to define their 'values', within which this strategic planning is to go forward. There is a sense that each university (of the 26,000 universities in the world) has to work it all out by itself, for itself.

Professor Barnett poses the question: Is there more to be said?

Ron suggests that an ‘ecological approach’ may be helpful. An ecosystem has elements of fact and value all rolled into one, suggests interconnectedness, and invites careful responses. It suggests that institutional individuality and institutional collectively may go - and may have to go-together. An ecological perspective may widen a sense not just of institutional possibilities but of institutional responsibilities.

About the speaker

Ronald Barnett is Emeritus Professor of Higher Education at University College London Institute of Education, where he was Dean of Professional Development, and subsequently Pro-Director, responsible for the Institute’s longer-term strategy.

He is a past-Chair of the Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE), was awarded the inaugural prize by the European Association for Educational Research for his ‘outstanding contribution to Higher Education Research, Policy and Practice’, and is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, the SRHE and the Higher Education Academy (HEA).

For over thirty years, he has been advancing a social philosophy of the university, and more widely to establish the field of the philosophy of higher education. In that work, he has been attempting to identify creative concepts and practical principles that might enhance universities and higher education. For nearly thirty years, he has acted as a consultant, both to national bodies and to individual universities in the UK and abroad.

Lecture details

  • Date: Monday 9 July 2018
  • Time: 6pm for a 6.30pm start
  • Location: Lecture Theatre M001, Building M, Footscray Park Campus
  • Cost: Free

Book online

The lecture series is free, but bookings are essential by Monday 2 July.

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This event has already taken place.

9 July 2018, 6:00pm


Footscray Park Ballarat Road

Building M

Lecture Theatre M001


Get in touch

Tara Schuurmans
9919 4198