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The Pursuit of Possibility

Redesigning Research Universities

By Nigel Thrift

Published

Oct 31, 2022

Page count

222 pages

ISBN

978-1447364856

Dimensions

234 x 156 mm

Imprint

Policy Press

Published

Oct 31, 2022

Page count

222 pages

ISBN

978-1447364849

Dimensions

234 x 156 mm

Imprint

Policy Press

Published

Oct 31, 2022

Page count

222 pages

ISBN

978-1447364863

Dimensions

234 x 156 mm

Imprint

Policy Press
The Pursuit of Possibility

Are British research universities losing their way or are they finding a new way?

Nigel Thrift, a well-known academic and a former Vice-Chancellor, explores recent changes in the British research university that threaten to erode the quality of these higher education institutions. He considers what a research university has now become by examining the quandaries that have arisen from a succession of misplaced strategies and false expectations.

Challenging both higher education policy and leadership, he argues that the focus on student number growth and a series of research policy missteps has upset research universities’ priorities just at a point in the history of planetary breakdown when their research is most needed.

Professor Nigel Thrift is currently the Chair of the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management. Previously he was the Executive Director of Schwarzman Scholars. Before that he was the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Warwick and the Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research at the University of Oxford. He is a Visiting Professor in the School of Geography and the Environment at the University of Oxford, a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Tsinghua University and an Emeritus Professor at the University of Bristol. His research spans international finance; cities and political life; non-representational theory; affective politics; and the history of time.

Chapter 1: Is That a ‘University’? I’m Not Sure

Part One: The Research University

Chapter 2: So What is a ‘University’? Part 1: Architecture and Academics

Chapter 3: So What is a ‘University’? Part 2: Students, Parents and Other Constituencies

Part Two: The Contemporary British University System

Chapter 4: A New Robbins? Recent Changes in the British University System

Chapter 5: The Hardy Perennials

Chapter 6: The Australianization of British Higher Education

Chapter 7: On Vice-Chancelloring – A Footnote

Part Three: The Research University of the Future

Chapter 8: So What is a Research University?

Chapter 9: Redesigning the Research University