Implausible Dream: The World-Class University...

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Item#: 9780691165189
Author Mittelman, James H
Cover Hardback
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Why the paradigm of the world-class university is an implausible dream for most institutions of higher educationUniversities have become major actors on the global stage. Yet, as they strive to be "world-class," institutions of higher education are shifting away from their core missions of cultivating democratic citizenship, fostering critical thinking, and safeguarding academic freedom. In the contest to raise their national and global profiles, universities are em
acing a new form of utilitarianism, one that favors market power over academic values. In this book, James Mittelman explains why the world-class university is an implausible dream for most institutions and proposes viable alternatives that can help universities thrive in today's competitive global environment.Mittelman traces how the scale, reach, and impact of higher-education institutions expanded exponentially in the post-World War II era, and how the market-led educational model became widespread. Drawing on his own ground
eaking fieldwork, he offers three case studies-the United States, which exemplifies market-oriented educational globalization; Finland, representative of the strong public sphere; and Uganda, a postcolonial country with a historically public but now increasingly private university system. Mittelman shows that the "world-class" paradigm is untenable for all but a small group of wealthy, research-intensive universities, primarily in the global North. Nevertheless, institutions without substantial material resources and in far different contexts continue to aspire to world-class stature.An urgent wake-up call,Implausible Dreamargues that universities are repurposing at the peril of their high principles and recommends structural reforms that are more practical than the unrealistic worldwide measures of excellence prevalent today.

Table of Contents
List of Illustrations and Tables ix<
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>Preface and Acknowledgments xi<
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>Ab
eviations xv<
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>A Note on Terminology xvii<
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>Introduction Questions and Arguments 1<
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>PART I GLOBAL KNOWLEDGE GOVERNANCE<
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>1 A Crisis of Purpose 15<
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>2 Contending Purposes of Modern Universities 39<
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>3 Drivers of Reform 60<
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>PART II CASE STUDIES<
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>4 The Neoliberal Model: The United States 93<
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>5 A Social Democratic Path: Finland 137<
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>6 Postcolonial Experience: Uganda 167<
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>PART III OUTCOMES<
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>7 Polymorphism 205<
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>8 Plausible Alternatives 221<
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>Index 245