IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


VIRTUAL EVENT: Rediscovering the public purpose of higher education in times of uncertainty

25 June 2020, 2:00 pm–3:00 pm

Women sitting using laptop. Image: Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

In this webinar, Jonathan Grant will explore the role of universities in the current transition from global liberalism to a more humanitarian era.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Centre for Global Higher Education

We are living in one of these in-between times, where the confidence of global liberalism is being challenged by the rise of local populism and fuelled by existential pressures around climate and resource. We are also experiencing a shift from the analogue world to the digital one. 

John Ralston Saul, talks about the in-between time in his book the 'Collapse of Globalism' (2005). He sees this period as a ‘short positive moment of uncertainty… [where] it becomes possible to emerge into a less ideological and more humanitarian era'. 

As we transition to a new (as yet undefined) system it is likely that established and traditional institutions such as universities will come under attack. 

In this talk, Jonathan Grant will explore how universities play a critical role in determining which path we take, either through their active evolution of their public purpose, which has evolved over millennia, or their passive remoteness from the world around them.


Image: Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

About the Speaker

Jonathan Grant

Vice President and Vice Principal (Service) at King’s College London and Professor of Public Policy at the Policy Institute

Jonathan's main research interests are biomedical and research and development policy, research impact assessment, the use of research and evidence in policy and decision making, higher education policy and issues to do with freedom of expression.