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Title: The Future of the University and the Credibility of Science and Scholarship
Author(s): MITTELSTRASS, Jürgen
Journal: Ethical Perspectives
Volume: 13    Issue: 2   Date: June 2006   
Pages: 171-189
DOI: 10.2143/EP.13.2.2016629

Abstract :
The nature of the university is autonomous research and teaching within the framework of Bildung (i.e. an orienting, non-vocational education). Without Bildung, our open society, which expects and lauds innovation and mobility, will become paralysed by its own expectations, since it will be choked by a reign of technological specialists unable to offer society any universal orientation. In this worst-case scenario, the market becomes the measure of all things, and education is only valued insofar as it plays to market demands. But our knowledge society (as opposed to an information society) needs strong education, especially strong universities able to offer orientational Bildung. In turn, universities need the autonomy to plan their own organisation, as well as to systematise science. Reflecting globalised economic and research practices, the university too must step beyond disciplinary boundaries, and see the future of research and learning in problem-driven transdisciplinarity. Failing this, the university will be replaced by the paradigm of the school, and the particularism that entails. But in achieving this transdisciplinarity, universities will be able to foster the notion of science as a form of life, which in turn reveals itself to be the moral form of science and academic education. The credibility of the university depends on this achievement.

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