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The Idea of the University: Reflections from Singapore
Philip Holden, English Language and Literature and University Scholars’ Programme, National University of Singapore, Visiting Scholar in Residence at Green College
Coach House, Green College, UBC
September 18 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Universities are unique institutions: the oldest have survived hundreds of years, moving from religious origins to a central role in the fashioning of nation-states and, now, increasingly, participating in global flows of intellectual capital. All universities have claimed the right to autonomy—in Karl Jaspers’s words, to be a “state within a state”. In Philip Holden’s talk, he will first explore three ways in which such autonomy has been envisioned. He will then move to consider the experiences of universities in Asia and elsewhere whose modern development has followed a different model from those of Europe and North America. Using the developmental nation-state of Singapore as an example, he considers how this different path of development may well prove paradigmatic: rather than simply catching up with their North American and European counterparts, such universities now may be experiencing a series of conflicts and challenges to their roles which will eventually be confronted by all universities.

Philip Holden is Professor of English Language and Literature at the National University of Singapore, and is currently both a Visiting Professor at the Department of English and a Visiting Scholar a Green College. Learn more about Philip and his partner Ng Yun Sian.

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