The university in a contemporary era: reflections on epistemological shifts

Le Grange, Lesley (2009)

CITATION: Le Grange, L. 2009. The University in a Contemporary Era: Reflections on Epistemological Shifts, in E. Bitzer (ed.). Higher Education in South Africa: A Scholarly Look behind the Scenes. Stellenbosch: SUN MeDIA. 103-119. doi:10.18820/9781920338183/06.

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Chapters in Books

The contemporary university is an institution that is transforming rapidly. In an age of supercomplexity it too must become supercomplex and expand its epistemologies so as to engage with the challenges of a changing world. In this chapter I critically discuss epistemological transformations occurring in the contemporary university as a consequence of both inside-out pressures and outside-in pressures. I examine traces of these shifts in post-apartheid higher education policy in South Africa, and in practices at both a systemic and institutional level. I argue that even though it appears as if transformations that the modern university is undergoing mark the end of the pursuit of universal reason and the ideal of a liberal education, globalisation affords new spaces for reclaiming some lost ground.

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