A university, like everything else, has a place in the society to which it belongs, but that place is not the function of contributing to some other kind of activity in the society but of being itself and not another thing. The first priority of the University is primarily the pursuit of teaching and learning.
A university will have ceased to exist when its learning has degenerated into what is now called research, when its teaching has become mere instruction and occupies a large amount of the student’s time, and when those who came to be taught come, not in search of their intellectual development but with a vitality so placid and exhausted that they wish only to be provided with a serviceable moral and intellectual outfit; when they come with no understanding of the manners of conversation but desire only a qualification for earning a living or a certificate to let them in on the exploitation of the world.
What a grimly utilitarian world we are bequeathing to future undergraduates. The dismal and mercantile discourse surrounding higher education in England and around the western world should be a source of dismay to policymakers. It certainly is to the increasing numbers of students suffering debt-related stress in the era of sky-high tuition fees. Julian Coman
Together with the above issues, at the moment a large number of posts blogs and publications about branding in Higher Education. It seems that public opinion is not focusing on content anymore. When selecting a University, we have become obsessed with national and international rankings and in the United Kingdom, National Student Surveys. While in a large number of subjects, rankings could possibly be remotely relevant to course and institution selection, when it comes to selecting an Art and Design course, there are a large number of Colleges/Universities that are either lower down, or completely missing from international rankings that are truly worth examining more closely. Course content, the quality and passion of lecturers for the subject, actual employment /employability information and physical student opinion (not NSS) should be the elements that influence your judgement. Choose carefully and wisely.