What is a university for? They educate and set people up for their futures; they teach, research, employ – often irritate. We talk about developing the next generations and pushing the boundaries of knowledge, but in the midst of a pandemic, universities were put more firmly under the microscope than ever before. As we emerge into a new reality, James Coe considers the enormous challenge of reimagining an entire cornerstone of society as a more civic and personal institution. The New University posits a blueprint of action through universities intersecting with work, offering opportunity, and operating within the physical space they find themselves. Diving into the issues he aims to tackle in his own work as a senior policy advisor, Coe believes we can utilise universities for community betterment through realigning research to communal benefit, adopting outreach into the hardest to reach communities, using positional power to purchase better, and using culture to draw people together in a fractured society. The world has changed and universities must change too. The New University is the start.
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