What are universities for?

June 20, 2003

What are universities for? The question at the heart of the academic mission has been given added urgency by education secretary Charles Clarke.

Gordon Graham, professor of philosophy at Aberdeen University, will speak in a debate on "the ideal university re-examined", chaired by THES editor John O'Leary, on Saturday June 21. The session is part of a three-day conference, "Ideas, Intellectuals and the Public", organised by Goodenough College and the Institute of Ideas and sponsored by The THES , starting on June 20. The question also provides the theme for the Palgrave Macmillan and Times Higher Education Supplement Humanities and Social Sciences Writing Prize.

Entrants should submit a 2,000-word essay on "what are universities for".

First prize will be £2,000 and publication in The THES .

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