When University College London was founded in the 1820s, the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge ridiculed it as a ‘lecture-bazaar’: an institution that imparted information but not wisdom.

In doing so Coleridge called the opening shots in what would become a fierce debate about the nature and purpose of universities in the nineteenth century. Should they be institutions that offered a commodity: imparting useful knowledge that could be turned by those who acquired it to commercial and economic advantage? Or, were they learning communities: places where people come together to learn lessons that were as much about how to live as they were about how to perform a task?  Read the rest of this post at guardian.co.uk …

About these ads