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Durham University

Institute of Advanced Study

Past Events

The Future of the University Public Lecture Series - A University Education

8th February 2018, 20:00 to 21:00, Great Hall, University College, The Rt. Hon. the Lord David Willetts


The English higher education system is very unusual with nationwide competition for entry This drives excessive specialisation in English schools which is the biggest single challenge facing universities in the future. As well as its classic teaching and research roles, the university is increasingly significant in driving innovation and the local economy. This third mission has led some critics to argue that the university is being betrayed and these fears, especially prevalent in the Humanities, will be investigated. The key trends of globalisation and the digital revolution have not yet had a big impact on the university but they will. David Willetts’ book A University Education is published by OUP in November 2017.

This lecture is free and open to all, and is on a first come, first served basis. The series will be held in the Great Hall at University College (Durham Castle). Doors will open at 7.45pm.For further information contact the IAS (enquiries.ias@durham.ac.uk).


Directions to University College

Map - University College is denoted as building No. 23

Contact enquiries.ias@durham.ac.uk for more information about this event.


The Future of the University Public Lecture series is a co-convened series by the Institute of Advanced Study and University College . In the face of this rapidly changing landscape, urging instant adaptive response, it is too easy to discount fundamental questions. What is the university now for? What is it, what can it be, what should it be? Are the visions of Humboldt and Newman still valid? If so, how?

During 2017/18 leading world figures on the university and political stages will deliver a public lecture in the Great Hall of the Castle. Speakers include Peter Horrocks CBE, Professor Peter Coveney, Lord David Willetts, and Professor N.Kate Hayles among others. Follow this link for the full list of speakers

Contact enquiries.ias@durham.ac.uk for more information about this event.