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The problem stated Ideas of the university in the public domain are hopelessly impoverished. ‘Impoverished’ because they are unduly confined to a small range of possible conceptions of the university; and ‘hopelessly’ because they are too often without hope, taking the form of either a hand-wringing over the current state of the university or merely offering a defence of the emerging nature of ‘the entrepreneurial university’. Against this background, the questions arise as to what, if any, are the prospects for imagining the university anew? What role might the imagination play here? What are its limits and what might be its potential for bringing forward new forms of the university? This then is the problem before us: the problem of the place of the imagination in developing the idea – and the institutional form – of the university.