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Resilient Universities

Confronting Changes in a Challenging World

Edited By Jan Erik Karlsen and Rosalind Pritchard

Resilience is ostensibly acknowledged as a cross-disciplinary issue, yet resilience analysis has seldom been applied to the understanding of universities and the academic world. The contributions to this volume aim to fill this gap through the presentation of both theoretical and empirical studies.
The book’s title reflects the desire to extend the debate in new directions and to assemble a fresh set of models and tools for thinking about resilient universities. Bringing together a range of experts in the field, this collection marks a novel departure within the social sciences and is intended to act as a first step towards establishing a holistic approach to future university governance and adaptation.
Today’s European universities are confronted by profound changes. This book constitutes an accessibly written, polemical and bold exploration of how current crises facing higher education institutions could be more effectively addressed by institutional resilience and new forms of adaptive, future oriented governance.


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Jan Erik Karlsen Backcasting European University Governance 2042+


Jan Erik Karlsen 13 Backcasting European University Governance 2042+1 Introduction It is a common vision that the modern society of tomorrow will be ‘learn- ing intensive’ (Miller, 2006; OECD, 2008; Karlsen and Øverland, 2012). Knowledge, seen as research, innovation and education, will be the lever for both upheaval and progress. However, the thoughts, ideas and images of how this vision will be accomplished dif fer. Today’s images of tomor- row face the constraints of language and uncertainty. Do we presently have the ideas and concepts that will describe the major critical challenges of the role and functions of higher education institutions? We obviously do not know the facts of tomorrow. Our narratives of future universities and their models of governance will be rooted in the present, f lavoured by our expectations, hopes and doubts that shape paths to a future. Besides, what are possible, probable, plausible and preferable images of the potential future knowledge society and the place of organized learning within it? In addition to discussing such alternative images of the future, we need to explain the paths that lead to them. So, we need to focus both on the future function of learning/knowledge and on the model of organization: how will the learning take place and what infrastructure will support it? 1 Many thanks to Erik F. Øverland (Freie Universität, Berlin) and Stig Selmer-Anderssen (University of Stavanger) who both assisted in the Future Workshop on which this chapter rests. The author served as instructor and principal moderator...

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