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10.07. Contemporary Challenges and the Public University: Some Reflections from India

In the last lecture of the FIW series ›Perspektiven der Moderne‹, Prof. Lakshmi Subramanian, Centre for Studies in Social Sciences in Calcutta, is going to share personal experience on researching and teaching at Indian universities.

10.07. Contemporary Challenges and the Public University: Some Reflections from India

The Global Diversity of Universities in the 21st Century

We would like to cordially invite you to the last lecture in our series on ›The Global Diversity of Universities in the 21st Century‹, organized by the FIW Department of Science Studies. The lecture series aimed to start a discussion about the diversity of universities in the world society in the 21st century beyond the international rankings.

The next lecture, on July 10th, will focus on trends and challenges to Indian higher education: Prof. Lakshmi Subramanian, Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta, is going to talk about Contemporary Challenges and the Public University: Some Reflections from India.

 

The lecture will take place on June 12 at 6 p.m., at Bonner Universitätsforum (Heussallee 18-24), room 0.109.

 

Abstract: The presentation will take its cue from a recent publication "The Idea of the University: Histories and Contexts” in which I participated. The volume considered the historical context in which the idea of the university emerged and evolved in India, the challenges it faced and now continues to confront especially in the context of a neo-liberal market push in the field of higher education. My own contribution to the volume, took an auto-biographical approach and drew from personal experience of having taught at several kinds of universities and research centres in independent India, to make the larger point about the limits and limitations of university expansion in India. Acknowledging the massive democratization of higher education that has occurred in the subcontinent, the resultant social diversity in campuses, wherein access to education often takes precedence over livelihood issues, and features as a major issue in the debates on protective discrimination, this presentation will reflect on the trends in the current situation. It will address three specific issues; one, the need to go beyond the idea of the university and focus instead on practice/s, whether the university as a set of democratic and social practices is followed only in some spaces of exception, two, how in this emphasis on praxis, we need to look at curriculum debates and changes and how in some fields, these have had major intellectual benefits and finally, how the neo-liberal push undermines the very foundations of democratic practice in university spaces.

 

 

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