Universities, challenged

What do we expect from a 21st-century university? Which ideals have survived the transition to our brave new education world? And what does it mean when students are spoken of as customers? 

Robert-Manne-standardLa Trobe University’s prestigious Ideas & Society Program brings together moral philosopher Raimond Gaita, University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellor Glyn Davis and the Professor of Politics at La Trobe University, Robert Manne, to discuss the issue on Thursday 11 October at the Wheeler Centre.

The three speakers will come together to debate the meaning and future of new-millennium universities.

Raimond Gaita will lead the discussion with consideration of the nature of the traditional university and those forces that have undermined it in recent decades. He will ask whether it matters that the traditional idea of the university seems now to be defunct, whether something important has been lost, and if so, how far it is now possible to restore those concepts once at its core.

Gaita’s case will be assessed from different angles by Glyn Davis, who has ultimate responsibility for the direction of the University of Melbourne, and by the Convenor of the Ideas & Society Program, Robert Manne, who will begin by a consideration of the political and economic forces that have changed the idea of the university in the past half century.

The Ideas and Society Program conducts  a series of debates and public lectures. Its aim is to consider some of the critical questions of the times and to enliven intellectual life at La Trobe University and beyond by bringing some of Australia’s leading thinkers and public figures together to discuss these questions.

DATE: Thursday 11 October
TIME: 6.15pm – 7.45pm
VENUE:  The Wheeler Centre
Webcast: Details available at latrobe.edu.au/news/ideas-society

Public inquiries: www.latrobe.edu.au/news/ideas-society


Mark Pearce  (Director, Media and Communications) T +61 3 9479 5246 | M +61 0423 783756

About the speakers:

Raimond Gaita, formerly Professor of Moral Philosophy at King’s College, London, is presently Professorial Fellow in the Faculty of Law at the University of Melbourne.

Glyn Davis is Vice Chancellor and Principal of the University of Melbourne.

Robert Manne is Professor of Politics and Convenor of the Ideas & Society Program at La Trobe University.