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Module Synopsis
This course will examine the aims and normative values of global higher education by reference to a wide range of Asian and Western philosophical and cultural traditions drawing on literature published over the last two hundred years. Different interpretations of higher education including the influence of elite, liberal, research-based, and neo-liberal perspectives will be studied. The evolving role of religion, the state and the market will be explored as part of this analysis. The contested nature of the aims of a higher education will form a major focus of the course. It will analyse the way in which the aims of higher education, locally, regionally, nationally and internationally, have been shaped and re-shaped by the effects of colonisation, massification and globalisation with a strong emphasis on the historical context. It will enable students to re-consider the purposes of global higher education in the modern age of universal access in many developed contexts and help them to engage with discussions in the literature about claims for the distinctiveness of Asian and Chinese models of higher education and the continuing influence of the so-called “Western” model of the university in the developing and developed world.