The far-reaching changes in the character of Britain's universities in recent decades have been accompanied by - in part legitimated by, perhaps even facilitated by - a striking transformation in the everyday vocabulary of academic life. This lecture does not aim to make fun of various neologisms or to lament the infelicities of official documents (well, maybe a little). Instead, it asks what these linguistic shifts tell us about the real nature of the ‘reforms’ of higher education and how they relate to more fundamental shifts in society and social attitudes. The aims and objectives of the lecture do not include quantifiable deliverables; customers are recommended to bring their own supplies of salt.
We are pleased to welcome Professor Stefan Collini as one of the most prominent and eloquent commentators and critics of contemporary Higher Education in Britain today. Stefan has written extensively on the public role and meaning of universities, including his latest publication, Speaking of Universities (2017).
Stefan Collini is Professor Emeritus of Intellectual History and English Literature at Cambridge University and Fellow of the British Academy. He is a frequent contributor to The London Review of Books, The Times Literary Supplement, The Guardian, and The Nation, and an occasional broadcaster. His works include Speaking of Universities (2017), Common Writing: Essays on Literary Culture and Public Debate (2016), What Are Universities For? (2012) Absent Minds: Intellectuals in Britain (2006), and English Pasts: Essays in History and Culture (1999).
The event is hosted by the Centre for Teaching Innovation at the University of Westminster.