Editors: "Kristina Johansson", "Göran Lassbo", "Eddy Nehls"

Inside the New University: Prerequisites for a Contemporary Knowledge Production

Personal Book: US $54 Special Offer (PDF + Printed Copy): US $132
Printed Copy: US $105
Library Book: US $216
ISBN: 978-1-60805-727-6
eISBN: 978-1-60805-726-9 (Online)
DOI: 10.2174/97816080572691130101

Introduction

This discourse on the concept of the ‘new university’ encompasses a number of interconnected topics, ranging from the impacts of the market forces on the old academic territory to current perceptions about relationships between teachers and students. The book focuses on the inside features of the new academia. Some examples of issues and questions covered include:

  • - New media in education, which present opportunities and challenges for both learning students and teachers. But are these new possibilities for all, or just for members of the current ‘internet generation’? Moreover, How can new media be arranged to support a process of generic, collaborative learning?
  • - A discourse on the ‘new student’. Nowadays, terms such as rationality and ‘Bildung’ have emerged coupled with a trend for searching for shortcuts and denying one’s interests in deeper understanding of subjects. But does there really exist a new student on a qualitative level?
  • - Free dialogue has been brought forward by many educationalists as one important way to promote academic knowledge. How does free dialogue really contribute to this objective?

The e-book relates such issues to the specific features of the ‘new university’. For a broad insight into the issues forming the education of the future generation, Inside the New University offers important clues for the understanding of the ‘new university’ concept to readers - including educationalists and government policy makers - interested in the qualitative evolution of contemporary educational institutions.

Preface

What constitutes the so-called new University? The editors of this eBook have been active as research leaders for a research group that is conducting research on the topic: Inside the new University. What can the so called new university consist of, is it the fact that we are about to meet a new student cohort, with new needs and values or can it be the marketization of higher education or is it the new economic restraints in the university setting? Of course it is all of the above and probably a lot more! The universities of today have been rapidly forced to adapt to the surrounding society, which, in turn, makes new demands on knowledge and the so called knowledge production. The old universities’ trademark (critical thinking and independence) is being contested, now with the standpoint that knowledge and knowledge production should be of interest to society and its growth. Educating beyond the specific discipline and arming our students with a critical eye and a lot of independence should still be our main purpose. Many researchers in the educational area argue that we have to educate for a flexible, uncertain working life and this needs a shift (or revolution) in education. The important task we have ahead of us is to teach students how to become learners, i.e. learn how to learn and what to learn but also when and at the same time keeping a flexible adaption to a rapid changing work life. An epistemological flavour to our teaching methods is for sure needed.

The main objective of this eBook is to problematize and discuss the new trends that we are seeing today. In this eBook we have themes reaching from the student’s standpoint as learners or a view on the new university and the conditions of higher education today. The social media’s expanding role in higher education is taken under the loupe, can and should we adapt the new technologies and if so what are the possibilities and obstacles in the system of H.E? Focus is also on design issues, how can we design an education that educates for tomorrow, what ideological foundations are underlying our pedagogical/philosophical choices. Another text is focusing on the so-called practicum and asks the critical question, do we take advantage of the students’ reflection and experiences of being brokers between academia and work life? We also discuss the term of transfer and transition with the attempt of trying to grasp what happens in the space between different contexts. Can the students transfer the achieved knowledge from one community into another i.e. from work to school or vice versa? Are the educational methods used today effective in making the students more reflective and critical independent?

Finally, we round off with some conclusions and an invitation to analyse and discuss the challenges we meet today. So how prepared are the students to meet the future? It is next to impossible to get a steady job in working life, is this work life the one we educate students for?

Kristina Johansson
Department of Nursing
Health and Culture
University West
Sweden

Göran Lassbo
University West
Sweden

&

Eddy Nehls
Department of Nursing
Health and Culture
University West
Sweden

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