chapter  9
12 Pages

How to imagine and make good universities 1

WithRaewyn Connell

This chapter considers how to arrive at a concept of the good university and then make it a sustainable practice. It begins with ideas expressed by Australian vice-chancellors and contained in the ‘league tables’ for universities, which essentially reproduce existing privilege. It then considers definitions of the good university via wish lists, classic texts, horror lists, structural analysis, and shining examples from history. None of these approaches is enough by itself, but in combination, they can be fruitful. The best place to start in defining a good university is by considering the work universities do. This leads to issues about the conditions of the workforce as a whole, the global economy of knowledge, and the innovations bubbling up around the edges of this economy.