Michael Stewart, professor of social anthropology and vice-dean for enterprise and knowledge transfer at University College London, says that universities are deadly conservative, are not nearly as socially inclusive as they should be, and cultivate research environments that remain too enclosed (“Universities must reconnect with the outside world, says UCL professor”, 4 May).
Stefan Collini, whom Stewart singles out, is a fantastic scholar. His work will be relevant to our historical understanding of British culture for decades to come. He might not appear on the BBC as often as Stewart, but I will take substance over bombast any day of the week.
This is a classic example of the dumbed-down, top-down management that is undermining the scholarly, political, social and intellectual relevance of UK higher education. How ironic, considering Stewart’s stated goals. We can’t all be teledons, nor should we aspire to be.