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Consumerism or humanism: Educational values in the University of Bologna and beyond

UNIKE PhD fellow Sina Westa hosted a table at the 27th Anniversary of the Magna Charta Universitatum. A report is now out by the Magna Charta Observatory on the session.

2016.01.18 | Lisbeth Kristine Walakira

UNIKE PhD fellow Sina Westa. Photo by Aarhus University.

When talking about contemporary higher education, there are parallel discourses present such as the idea of consumerism, in which teachers and researchers are redefined as producers and students as consumers. Universities are captured between the marketisation of higher education and a decline of public funding and have to find a balance between traditional values and the modernisation of higher education.

The World Café session hosted by UNIKE PhD fellow Sina Westa at the annual Anniversary of the Magna Charta Universitatum in September 2015 had a special focus on academics and how they see their role in promoting values within higher education and society. The report of the table, published by the Magna Charta Observatory, can be downloaded here.

Sina's session was titled "Consumerism or humanism: educational values in the University of Bologna and Beyond" and was based on fieldwork conducted at the University of Bologna, supported by the university itself and the Magna Charta Observatory.

The aim of the session was to discuss the changing discourse in higher education and its effects on university life with participating academics and students. Extracts and catch-phrases from 11 semi-structured in-depth interviews with academic staff from different disciplines concerning the issue of academic values and their work life at the University of Bologna were used to open up the discussion.

This year's Anniversary of the Magna Charta Universitatum took place from 17 and 18 September in Bologne, Italy.

Sina Westa is making her PhD project about "Academic Freedom in Teaching in Higher Education" under UNIKE at Ljubljana University. Read more about her research here.

Tags: Magna Charta Observatory, XXVII Anniversary of the Magna Charta, UNIKE, Universities in the Knowledge Economy, Sina Westa
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Revised 17.05.2017