Institute of Education


The ecological university

12:10 pm to 2:00 pm, 28 June 2018

Library students at UCL

Event Information

Open to



Room 777, UCL Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way London WC1H 0AL

Join the Centre for Global Higher Education (CGHE) to discuss and reflect on Ronald Barnett's book, The Ecological University: A Feasible Utopia. After a presentation by Ron there will be commentary from Elisa Brewis and Simon Marginson, followed by open discussion.

Now several major ecosystems of the world are having their effects on the university and, whether recognised or not, the university is influenced by them. Seven ecosystems deserve attention in particular, those of the economy, knowledge, social institutions, learning, persons, culture and the natural environment.

At present, attention is given primarily to the ecosystem of the economy. Some - advocates of entrepreneurialism - play it up; others - critics of neoliberalism and cognitive capitalism - sense that the university is 'in ruins'. 

As a result, there is a general downplaying of the potential that the university possesses in the twenty-first century. Ron will explore this situation and make a pitch for the coming of the ecological university. This would be a university that is not only aware of its interconnections with those seven ecosystems but has a concern for those ecosystems and strives to advance them.

Phrases such as 'civic engagement', 'the public good' and 'the student as global citizen' are indications of an embryonic concern for the total world on the part of the university. This may be a utopia, but it is a feasible utopia.

This event is open and free for all to attend.

About the speakers

Professor Ronald Barnett
Professor Simon Marginson
Elisa Brewis



Anna Phillips


  • Credit: UCL

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