Dr Eric Lybeck

A Tale of Two Universities: Critical & Institutional Perspectives on the Civic University

Thursday 28 February 2019, 1-2 pm, Beverton Lecture Theatre, Main Building

Among the outcomes of the political elections of 2016 has been renewed interest in the idea of the ‘civic university’, or the relationship between universities and so-called ‘left-behind’ populations and regions. However, much of this policy discourse sidesteps concerns raised by more critical analysis of the so-called ‘toxic’ university. Lybeck will introduce the emerging field of ‘critical university studies’, which includes a range of perspectives, one of which could be defined as ‘civic’. A genuinely civic university would neither dismiss the growing regional patterns of inequality or those residents who feel left-behind, nor would it presume such inequalities could be redressed through mere ‘business-as-usual’ manager-led, community engagement. As academics and universities we need to take these new patterns of inequality more seriously as they produce more and more existential threats to the pursuit of higher learning.

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