Brunner, José Joaquín
September 2012
Bordón;Sep2012, Vol. 64 Issue 3, p27
In the evolution of the idea of the university one of the most important dynamic dimensions and, therefore, one of the main causes of this unprecedented expansion of university institutional forms, is the transition from elite's higher education to mass tertiary education and, at one time, its universalization. Based on an effect and impact analysis of massification and differentiation within national higher education systems, this article explores the political economy transformations of the latter at the global level; it also considers the growing privatization of higher education. The article goes on to elaborate on the idea of the university as a Gemeinschaft type of community and its gradual demise and reflects on the narrative and discourse that accompanies this process. It suggests a way of thinking about the university in times of mass higher education and its universalization as a Gesellschaft type of community, and challenges a view, held by some postmodern thinkers, that this way of thinking reduces the university to a market community. The real danger is that the community of the true, good and beautiful with strong identities and boundaries, which served as a mirror to the traditional university and the romantic narrative source, can be destroyed irreparably.


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