Inside the New University: Prerequisites for a Contemporary Knowledge Production


by

Kristina Johansson, Göran Lassbo, Eddy Nehls

DOI: 10.2174/97816080572691130101
eISBN: 978-1-60805-726-9, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-60805-727-6



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This discourse on the concept of the ‘new university’ encompasses a number of interconnected topics, ranging from the impacts of the m...[view complete introduction]

Table of Contents

Foreword

- Pp. i-ii (2)

Per Flensburg

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Preface

- Pp. iii-iv (2)

Kristina Johansson, Göran Lassbo and Eddy Nehls

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List of Contributors

- Pp. v-vi (2)

Kristina Johansson, Göran Lassbo and Eddy Nehls

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The Student of Today: Some Students’ and Teachers’ Conceptions of the Characteristics of a Good Student

- Pp. 3-13 (11)

Kristina Johansson

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Learning and the “Net Generation”

- Pp. 14-27 (14)

Bengt Kjellén

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Two-Way Tools in Higher Education

- Pp. 28-41 (14)

Livia Norström and Lennarth Bernhardsson

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Intercontinental Master´s Programme in Adult Learning and Global Change

- Pp. 42-66 (25)

Madeleine A. Dahlgren, Lars O. Dahlgren and Garnet Grosjean

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Authenticity and Learning in a Workplace-Based Educational Programme

- Pp. 67-94 (28)

Hans Rystedt and Jan Gustafsson

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The Discretion of Teaching in Higher Education

- Pp. 95-111 (17)

Ola Fransson

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Teaching, Power and Social Difference – Practicing Anti-Oppressive Education in the University Classroom

- Pp. 112-146 (35)

Anna Johansson and Annika Theodorsson

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The Role of the University in a World of Crisis: Environmental Sustainability and the Ecoversity

- Pp. 147-161 (15)

Julie Matthews and Steve Garlick

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Alternative Scenarios for European Higher Education

- Pp. 162-182 (21)

Michelle van Geffen, Magda Niewczas and Marta Bukowska

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Let´s Have a Conversation About the New University

- Pp. 183-211 (29)

Eddy Nehls and Marcus Bussey

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Universities at the Crossroads: Experimental Creativity and Pathways with our Futures

- Pp. 212-225 (14)

Ananta K. Giri

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Transitions and Transfers Between Academia and Working Life

- Pp. 226-237 (12)

Bengt Kjellén

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Written Assignment for Work Placement Period 2

- Pp. 238-239 (2)

Anders Eklann and Bengt Kjellén

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Beyond the New University

- Pp. 240-245 (6)

Eddy Nehls

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Index

- Pp. 246-256 (11)

Kristina Johansson, Göran Lassbo and Eddy Nehls

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Foreword

Academic knowledge has over the years had a tendency to be kept apart from the mainstream society. When Platon founded his academy in 387 BC he chose a place called “Academia” a short distance outside Athens. The academy was isolated from the town, since the teacher of Platon, Socrates, worked inside the town and he was sentenced to death due to subversion when he was teaching the Athenians. The Romans honoured the Greece wisdom and stored the papyrus scrolls in libraries and made them available for scholars to study. Still apart from the mainstream society. When the German tribes vandalised the Roman empire 400 AD most of the libraries were burned and most of the books were thrown away. Some were preserved in the convent schools and Episcopal schools, available only for a limited number of people. Around 800 Charlemagne managed to unite the remains of the old roman empire and to preserve it for the future he issued the Carolingian renaissance. One of the primary efforts was the creation of a standardised curriculum for use at the Episcopal schools. This was the first step towards and independent university system.

In the 12th century Europe was prospering, recovered from the German tribes and a new bourgeois emerged. They needed education in law, mathematics and other business related issues. The Episcopal schools tried to adopt by forming some kinds of guilds, thereby gaining legitimacy for being separate from church and serving the guilds. To emphasise the freedom from church the schools were called ”studio generale” when they had reached a certain degree of generality. During the following centuries the medieval university system emerged, based upon a reproductive view on the ancient knowledge. More people got opportunity to visit the universities, but still they were isolated from society. For instance universities had their own jurisdiction, which in Sweden continued until the beginning of the 20th century.

The medieval form of teaching continued until beginning of the 19th century. In 1810 the Berlin University started at the initiative of the liberal Prussian education reformer Wilhelm von Humboldt. Humboldt’s idea consisted mainly of a close connection between research and learning and freedom of science. The research-based universities, ruled by professors were established. Still it had its own legislation and were more or less separated from society. However, the gap between society and the university diminished over the years and in the wake of the 1968 revolution the relation between society and the universities were radically changed. In Sweden a major reform was launched in 1977 which signified a comprehensive central planning at government level of educational offerings. About hundred general education lines were installed, which was transferred to five vocational training sectors. An important purpose was to open the university for new groups. In1993 a new reform was issued, where universities obtained increased freedom and government's detailed management of basic education declined. A new resource allocation system for undergraduate education was introduced. More research money were allocated from the universities to the research councils establishing a competition for research funds. From the millennium shift we have seen a new university emerge; a new university oriented towards trade and industry, trying to provide them with well educated work-force and conduct research that will be beneficial for trade and governance, leaving less room for the traditional academic freedom of education and research.

Per Flensburg

University West

Trollhättan

Sweden


Preface

What constitutes the so-called new University? The editors of this eBook have been active as research leaders for a research group that is conducting research on the topic: Inside the new University. What can the so called new university consist of, is it the fact that we are about to meet a new student cohort, with new needs and values or can it be the marketization of higher education or is it the new economic restraints in the university setting? Of course it is all of the above and probably a lot more! The universities of today have been rapidly forced to adapt to the surrounding society, which, in turn, makes new demands on knowledge and the so called knowledge production. The old universities’ trademark (critical thinking and independence) is being contested, now with the standpoint that knowledge and knowledge production should be of interest to society and its growth. Educating beyond the specific discipline and arming our students with a critical eye and a lot of independence should still be our main purpose. Many researchers in the educational area argue that we have to educate for a flexible, uncertain working life and this needs a shift (or revolution) in education. The important task we have ahead of us is to teach students how to become learners, i.e. learn how to learn and what to learn but also when and at the same time keeping a flexible adaption to a rapid changing work life. An epistemological flavour to our teaching methods is for sure needed.

The main objective of this eBook is to problematize and discuss the new trends that we are seeing today. In this eBook we have themes reaching from the student’s standpoint as learners or a view on the new university and the conditions of higher education today. The social media’s expanding role in higher education is taken under the loupe, can and should we adapt the new technologies and if so what are the possibilities and obstacles in the system of H.E? Focus is also on design issues, how can we design an education that educates for tomorrow, what ideological foundations are underlying our pedagogical/philosophical choices. Another text is focusing on the so-called practicum and asks the critical question, do we take advantage of the students’ reflection and experiences of being brokers between academia and work life? We also discuss the term of transfer and transition with the attempt of trying to grasp what happens in the space between different contexts. Can the students transfer the achieved knowledge from one community into another i.e. from work to school or vice versa? Are the educational methods used today effective in making the students more reflective and critical independent?

Finally, we round off with some conclusions and an invitation to analyse and discuss the challenges we meet today. So how prepared are the students to meet the future? It is next to impossible to get a steady job in working life, is this work life the one we educate students for?

Kristina Johansson
Department of Nursing
Health and Culture
University West
Sweden

Göran Lassbo
University West
Sweden

&

Eddy Nehls
Department of Nursing
Health and Culture
University West
Sweden

List of Contributors

Editor(s):
Kristina Johansson
University West
Sweden


Göran Lassbo
University West
Sweden


Eddy Nehls
University West
Sweden




Contributor(s):
Madeleine A. Dahlgren
Department of Medicine and Health
Linköping University
Linköping
Sweden


Lennarth Bernhardsson
Department of Economics and Informatics
University West
Trollhättan
Sweden


Marta Bukowska
Nanyang Technological University
Singapore and University of Warwick
United Kingdom


Marcus Bussey
Research Fellow in Regional Futures
The University of the Sunshine Coast
Queensland
Australia


Lars O. Dahlgren
Linköping University
Sweden


Ola Fransson
Centre for Profession Studies
Malmö University
Malmö
Sweden


Steve Garlick
Department of Urban and Regional Studies
The University of Newcastle
Callaghan
Australia


Ananta K. Giri
Madras Institute of Development studies
India


Garnet Grosjean
University of British Columbia
Canada


Jan Gustafsson
Department of Education and Special Education
Gothenburg University
Sweden



Anna Johansson
Department of Social and Behavioral Studies
University West
Sweden



Kristina Johansson
Department of Nursing, Health and Culture
University West
Sweden



Bengt Kjellén
Department of Economics and Informatics
University West
Sweden



Göran Lassbo
University West
Sweden



Julie Matthews
Associate Director Sustainability Research Centre
University of the Sunshine Coast
Australia


Eddy Nehls
Department of Nursing
Health and Culture, University West
Sweden


Magda Niewczas
Nanyang Technological University
Singapore and University of Warwick
United Kingdom


Livia Norström
Department of Economics and Informatics
University West
Sweden


Hans Rystedt
Department of Education
Gothenburg University
Sweden


Annika Theodorsson
Department of Social and Behavioral Studies
University West
Sweden


Michelle van Geffen
Nanyang Technological University
Singapore and University of Warwick
United Kingdom




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