Universities continue to expand, bringing considerable debate about their purposes and relationship to the world. In The Ecological University, Ronald Barnett argues that universities are short of their potential and responsibilities in an ever-changing and challenging environment.

This book centres on the idea that the expansion of higher education has opened new spaces and possibilities. The university is interconnected with a number of ecosystems: knowledge, social institutions, persons, the economy, learning, culture and the natural environment. These seven ecosystems of the university are all fragile and in order to advance and develop them universities need to engage with each one.

By looking at matters such as the challenges of learning, professional life and research and inquiry, this book outlines just what it could mean for higher education institutions to understand and realize themselves as exemplars of the ecological university. With bold and original insights and practical principles for development, this radical and transformative book is essential reading for university leaders and administrators, academics, students, and all interested in the future of the university.

chapter |14 pages


The coming of the ecological university

part I|56 pages

The idea of the ecological

chapter 1|12 pages

The idea of ecology

chapter 2|13 pages

Assembling the pieces

chapter 3|13 pages

Beyond sustainability

chapter 4|14 pages

Seven ecosystems

chapter |2 pages


A social ecology of the university: Exposition, recapitulation and development

part II|84 pages

The ecological university

chapter 5|13 pages

The eco-university

Principles and maxims

chapter 6|13 pages

Ecological inquiry

chapter 8|13 pages

Sightings of an ecological curriculum

chapter 9|15 pages

Towards an ecological professionalism

chapter 10|14 pages

Engaging the world

part III|30 pages

Ecological audit

chapter 11|13 pages

The idea of the ecological university

An audit

chapter 12|12 pages

A university for the whole Earth

chapter |3 pages

Coda: A revolution in the offing?