Education, Knowledge Economy and Digital Futures
Edited By Michael Peters, Tina (Athlone C.) Besley and Daniel Araya
14. Toward the Multi-Vocal University Ronald Barnett 264
• 1 4 • RONALD BARNETT Introduction Did the university ever have a voice? Does its voice need to be recovered, or maybe even discovered for the first time? What might it mean for the university to have a voice? Could there be a university voice, a voice of the university? Or would it be simply a cacophony of voices as each university strove to make its voice heard in a competitive milieu? These are some of the questions that will concern us here. These questions are urgent and complex enough as they are, but they take on even more urgency and complexity against the horizons of the knowledge economy and potential digital futures for the university. On the one hand, the knowledge economy orients the university’s voice toward a market; the university’s voice becomes one of declaring and projecting—and even shouting—its knowledge wares to attract potential customers. On the other hand, the new digital landscape is opening new opportunities for a freer voice; an unfettered voice; an open distri- bution of its messages. So the university’s voice closes and opens, and is transmit- ted in different directions all at once. This is the coming of the multi-vocal university: many voices, many audiences, many modes of production and transmission, and at once singular and universal. Exploring this complex of university voice is the task of this chapter. Toward the Multi-Vocal University d_ch 11 thru end_t1b 10/4/2013 2:16 PM Page 264 Considerations The university moves and has its...
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