"Do Contemporary Societies Need Universities? Notes on Higher Education After the Knowledge Economy" by Christopher Newfield : a CGHE Seminar

Mee, R. (Participant)

Activity: Attending an eventOrganisation or participation in workshops, courses or seminars


Though official policy in the United Kingdom and the United States is to widen post-secondary participation, most policymakers have lost faith in the benefits of generic bachelor’s degrees. Comparing the Conservative Party’s support for further education to the Biden Administration’s focus on community colleges, Christopher Newfield will argue in this webinar that both governments are preparing students for mid-skill, middle-income jobs that have been largely offshored or made precarious. The remedy is not to increase focus on individual, monetary effects but to reduce it: governments should develop proper industrial strategies while funding universities to generate public, common, collective goods alongside private goods. Christopher will use racial equality as his example of a collective good. Contemporary societies will better respond to a higher education sector that fully redefines its social effects for the wider public.

Christopher Newfield

Christopher Newfield is Director of Research at the Independent Social Research Foundation and Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His areas of research are Critical University Studies, critical theory, quantification studies, the intellectual and social effects of the humanities, and U.S. cultural history before the Civil War and after World War II. He has written a trilogy of books on the university as an intellectual and social institution: Ivy and Industry: Business and the Making of the American University, 1880-1980 (Duke University Press, 2003); Unmaking the Public University: The Forty Year Assault on the Middle Class (Harvard University Press, 2008); and The Great Mistake: How We Wrecked Public Universities and How We Can Fix Them (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2016), which has now appeared in paperback.
Period28. Jan 2021
Event typeSeminar
LocationOxford, United Kingdom
Degree of RecognitionInternational