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May 21, 2013

Fundamental Curiosity: The Dynamic Of The University

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Image. Rodin

A Q and A with Professor Tim Jones, Pro Vice-Chancellor: Research (Science and Medicine), Knowledge Transfer and Business Engagement, University of Warwick.

What do you think is the most under-hyped, yet significant, change universities in the UK will undergo during the next decade?

I don’t know if it’s necessarily under-hyped but I think the private provision of higher education will completely change the dynamic in the future. I think a number of universities will be threatened very significantly. Private provision will expand and will change the way universities have to behave and operate in a very, very significant way.

And do you think global providers have an advantage?

Almost certainly yes, I mean the US is a classic example, and I think the UK is behind the curve with this certainly compared to some countries.

Open-access research: is the UK shooting itself in the foot or are we leading the way?

There is no doubt that open access research is a great thing in principle, however I think being first is not necessarily a good thing. So I would argue we are shooting ourselves in the foot because I don’t necessarily see the rest of the world following. I think the UK is going to be in a very difficult position.

The University of Warwick is hosting the 2013 Global University Summit in May, which will issue a formal declaration on higher education to the G8. If you could get one commitment from the summit of world leaders, what would that be?

It would be to ensure that universities remain establishments of academic research and scholarships and are no skewed too much by the agendas of governments around the world, where economic growth seems to be the raison d’être for the existence of universities. Don’t skew universities too much towards being engines of economic growth; don’t change the dynamic of the way the university operates. Don’t discriminate against intellectual, fundamental, curiosity driven education and research that continues to attract the very very best students and academics, who are free thinkers and are not constrained by government thinking and policy.

This blog is part of a regular series on the Knowledge Centre looking at issues in higher education ahead of the Global University Summit (May 28-30 2013), hosted by the University of Warwick in Whitehall, London. As part of the Summit, a declaration of commitment and policy recommendations will be drawn up for the G8 summit of world leaders, taking place in Northern Ireland in June.

Image: Auguste Rodin's Le Penseur (The Thinker). Source: (Flickr).
Image Professor Tim Jones, University of WarwickAs Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Knowledge Transfer and Business Engagement, Professor Tim Jones has responsibility for development of the University of Warwick’s knowledge transfer and business engagement strategy to support the University’s research and teaching ambitions through corporate level regional, national and international relationships with business partners. He also works with the Registrar and Chief Operating Officer to maximise the impact of the University HEIF allocations and lead engagements with relevant external bodies.He also has responsibility for the University’s Science research strategy, including the development of research opportunities and collaborations both nationally and internationally and the raising of research income, publications and citation scores in the Faculty of Science.

May 06, 2011

What is the Future for Social Sciences?

The Festival of Social Sciences takes place on campus between Thursday 5 May - Thursday 26 May 2011 and the Knowledge Centre will be there to bring you the best from the seminars, lectures and discussions taking place during the Festival.

The aim of the Festival is to showcase the varied and innovative social sciences research taking place at Warwick, involving staff and students from the Faculty of Social Science, as well as other areas of the University and beyond.

Guest speakers include Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty, the National Council for Civil Liberties who will be giving a public lecture entitled “Common Values: The State of Rights and Freedoms in Modern Britain”. We will be bringing a video of the talk as well as coverage of the keynote event: Former Registrar of the University of Warwick, Mike Shattock (1983-1999) will be joining current Registrar, Jon Baldwin and Professor Robin Naylor from the Department of Economics to talk about  “Higher Education: Challenges and Opportunities”.  

We will be capturing Business Entrepreneur, Ram Gidoomal CBE's talk on “Sustaining Dialogue: Multicultural Societies Under Pressure" and The Academy of Social Sciences Campaign for Social Science roadshow that will be published alongside an article looking at the future of social sciences.

One of the festival’s themes is Early Career Research development and we have been speaking to Ben Richardson, Daria Luchinksaya, Ben Jacoby, Clara Ruebner Joergensen and David Webber about their work.  A number of them will be contributing reviews of other interesting events planned, such as a film showing of The Roots of Revolt in Arabic World today - an Egyptian film (with English subtitles) based on the critically-acclaimed novel by Alaa al-Aswani.

Prof Richard Aldrich from the Department of Politics and International Studies will be giving his presentation Landscapes of Secrecy following on from a recent conference looking at ‘The CIA in History, Fiction and Memory’. He is our expert for this theme and you will have an opportunity to put your questions to Prof Aldrich on the history of GCHQ, the CIA and international security from Monday!

With book extracts from the best publications across departments, our Share Your Thoughts page - as well as more interviews and articles - it is set to be a busy few weeks ahead. For full listings of the whole range of events going on, the programme is now online. To find out more about the events taking place during the Festival, visit the Festival of Social Sciences webpages.

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