The Contemporary Research University and the Contest for Deliberative Space



In this chapter, I will argue that responses to neo-liberalism and new digital technologies have changed how research, teaching and learning are experienced. Realignment of work tasks has reduced the time and space required for achieving some important knowledge objectives that the academic community and society value. These include enlightenment ideas of seeking truth, reason, criticality and emancipation. I will lay the foundations for my analysis by starting with a consideration of these values, in terms of the purposes of a university education. In particular, I will introduce the concept of ‘worthwhile knowledge’. I will then explore neo-liberalism and how this ideology has transformed higher education and continues to exert influence and control over much of what is possible and permissible. Finally, I will make some observations about digital technology in the context of contemporary academic work and examine how technology not only changes the knowledge project but also influences neo-liberal reform. I will conclude with some thoughts on the idea of resistance and subversion to attain spaces for deliberative thinking.


Neo-liberalism Teaching and learning Big data University education 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand

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