Paul Ashwin, Lancaster University
Jenni Case, University of Cape Town (South Africa) and Virginia Tech (US)
Simon Marginson, University of Oxford
Debbie McVitty, Wonkhe
What is a university degree for? What can it offer to students? Is it only about getting a job? How can we measure the quality of an undergraduate degree? In his newly published book, Paul Ashwin shows how, around the world, economic arguments have come to dominate our thinking about the purpose and nature of university education. He argues that we have lost a sense of the educational purposes of an undergraduate degree and the ways in which going to university can transform students’ lives. The book challenges a series of myths related to the purposes, educational processes, and quality of an undergraduate education and argues that these myths have fuelled the current misunderstanding of the educational aspects of higher education. The book explores what is needed to reinvigorate our understanding of a university education.
This book launch will offer an overview of the book’s argument and feature responses from three leading commentators on higher education research, policy and practice.
“In a noisy world filled with a cacophony of sound bites, Paul Ashwin challenges the merits of the current narrative that higher education is failing to provide what students and society need to thrive in uncertain times. His incisive, reasoned analysis is both critical of certain institutional practices while persuasively explaining what the contemporary university needs to do to realize its overarching educational purposes.” – George D. Kuh, Chancellor’s Professor Emeritus of Higher Education, Indiana University, USA