Sustaining intellectual quality: the challenge for 21st-century universities


Stefan Collini

Cambridge University

Le lundi 11 décembre 2017 de 12:15 à 13:45
Salle R42.4.502, Campus du Solbosch

Pour revoir la conférence : connexion avec netID



From the many challenges and opportunities that will face all societies across the globe as higher education expands in both size and importance across the twenty-first century, this lecture focuses on just one: how is high-quality intellectual work to be promoted and sustained?   When establishing or expanding a higher education system, it is relatively easy to produce mediocre universities.  But what forms of organization, funding, and accountability are conducive to encouraging and maintaining the highest standards in both research and teaching?  This lecture will draw on the experience of the UK, the US, and other national systems in an attempt to identify some reasonably good, and some very bad, answers.

Stefan Collini
Stefan Collini


Stefan Collini is Professor Emeritus of Intellectual History and English Literature at Cambridge University, and a Fellow of the British Academy. He is the author of, among other books, Public Moralists (1991), Matthew Arnold: a Critical Portrait (1994), English Pasts: Essays in History and Culture (1999), Absent Minds: Intellectuals in Britain (2006), Common Reading: Critics, Historians, Publics (2008),and Common Writing: Literary Culture and Public Debate (2016), as well as a frequent contributor to The London Review of Books, The Times Literary Supplement, The Guardian, The Nation, and other publications. His 2012 book What Are Universities For? and its sequel Speaking of Universities (2017), have become major points of reference in international debates about higher education.  

Research Interests

The relation between literature and intellectual history from the early 20th century to the present. Current research focusses on the cultural role of, and the historical assumptions expressed in, literary criticism in Britain from c.1920 to c.1970. Recent work has dealt with the question of intellectuals in 20th-century Britain, the relation between academic critics and 'men of letters', the role of cultural criticism, as well as individual essays on figures such as T.S. Eliot, F.R. Leavis, George Orwell, Raymond Williams, and Richard Hoggart. Also work on the history, and public debates about the role, of universities in Britain.