Understanding the University constitutes the final volume in a trilogy - the first two books having been Being a University (2010) and Imagining the University (2012) - and represents the trilogy's ultimate aims and endeavours. The three volumes together offer a unique attempt at a fairly systematic and exhaustive level to map out just what it might be seriously to understand the extraordinarily complex entity that is known across the world as `the university'.
Through examination of the conditions and possibilities underlying and affecting universities, this work offers an understanding of specific ideas of the university which can inform policies, strategies and practices in relation to the university.
This book is a must read for leaders and senior managers in universities , as well as those undertaking postgraduate studies in the policy and practice of higher education.
Ronald Barnett is Emeritus Professor of Higher Education, University College London Institute of Education.
Acknowledgements Introduction Part 1: Planes of understanding Reading the university The great hole Three planes of understanding Part 2: The antagonistic university Antagonisms Seven forms of dialectic Part 3: Glimpsing spaces The possibility of possibilities An inevitable remainder The real thing Holding together Part 4: Positive moments Universals and particulars The university as agent Work for the visionaries Coda: On not living in the ruins Notes Bibliographic note Bibliography Index