What is the role of universities for social change?

Recently there were two articles by professors from the UK debating what the role of universities is for social change – and what it should be.

Simon Marginson, professor at the Institute of Education, University of London, explained in an article for University World News, how Higher Education contributes to fostering a plutocratic system: “So we have, on the one hand, growing economic and social inequality and, on the other hand, a hierarchical higher education system, with socially differentiated access to higher education overall and socially differentiated access to its upper reaches. Increasingly, the second form of differentiation overshadows the first, so the most important question is not access, but access to what?http://www.universityworldnews.com/article.php?story=2015042917124158

The Times Higher Education presents a speach by Michael Stewart, professor for social anthropology and vice-dean for “enterprise and knowledge transfer” at University College London: “Universities currently suffer from three malaises: they are deadly conservative, not nearly as socially inclusive as they should be, and the research environments that they cultivate remain too enclosed.http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/news/universities-must-reconnect-with-the-outside-world-says-ucl-professor/2020012.article

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