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Open Access Democracy, knowledge and critique: rethinking European universities beyond tradition and the market

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In many European countries, universities are asked to become more market-oriented. Those who oppose this trend mostly invoke a traditional university ideal to make their case. This paper aims to look for a third way to conceptualise a university that is neither market-oriented nor traditionalist. It finds such an alternative by looking at a democratic culture in which knowledge remains indeterminate and subject to debate. It concretely demonstrates that this alternative view allows us to identify problematic aspects of contemporary discourses on universities, as exemplified by the European Commission's discourse. It ends by arguing that the alternative vision is more in tune with the grassroots reality of research and education than the market-oriented view.

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Keywords: CRITIQUE; DEMOCRACY; EUROPE; KNOWLEDGE; MARKET; UNIVERSITY

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 July 2010

More about this publication?
  • Founded in 2003 by the UCL Institute of Education, the journal reflects the Institute's broad interests in all types of education in all contexts - local, national, global - and its commitment to analysis across disciplines using a variety of methodologies. It shares the Institute's aspiration to interrogate links between research, policy and practice, and its principled concern for social justice.

    Drawing on these strengths, LRE is a wide-ranging and engaging journal that features rigorous analysis and significant research across key themes in education, including: public goals and policies; pedagogy; curriculum; organization; resources and technology; and institutional effectiveness. Articles and book reviews are written by experts in education, psychology, sociology, policy studies, philosophy and other disciplines contributing to education research, and by experienced researcher-practitioners working in the field. The highest quality of reporting and presentation are ensured through an independent, anonymised peer-review process. As an entirely web-based open access journal, LRE has been able to offer innovative features and formats including: epistolary conversation; colour photos and illustrations; illustrative video clips.

    LRE welcomes relevant articles and book reviews. Please email them to [email protected]

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    Please see publication homepage for deadlines and how to submit articles on these and other subjects.
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