Tag Archives: globalization

The globalization and provincialization of universities

Thoughts on “A Critique of Universities” – Part 2

This is the second in a series of posts inspired by reading a little book full of very big ideas: Páll Skúlason’s A Critique of Universities (University of Iceland Press, 2015). Here’s Part 1. The book is thought-provoking and extraordinarily lucid. In this series I’ll share a few points from the book, with my own thoughts, but there’s no substitute for reading the book yourself (links below the post).

The globalization and provincialization of universities

My first post in this series dealt with Páll Skúlason’s thoughts (and my own) about what a university is for. Today, some thoughts inspired by Skúlason’s thoughts about what a university is.

Skúlason suggests that a university is best understood as

a conversation, a place where people who are trying to understand the world and their own existence within the context of a common pursuit for knowledge and learning come together to converse and exchange ideas (p. 13).

While “a conversation” might sound a bit new-agey, in fact this is an important observation that goes back to the revolution in European science in the 1600s. Continue reading