According to the University of Melbourne VC, critics who say universities are “hidebound and self-obsessed” are wrong. In fact, great universities connect with communities, great universities, like, well Melbourne. “Great engagement stories are everyday events in every faculty and school at Melbourne,” he told staff yesterday.
Professor Davis points to last week’s campus conference where leaders from the universities of Chicago and Manchester (among many others) explained how they make a mission of engagement.
“Engagement alone will not end concerns about the modern university. These have deep roots in social divisions, student debt and incoherent government policy, which expands places on campus, but then complains about the cost of education,” Professor Davis acknowledges. However, it “remains a worthwhile connection for universities in its own right, and the most disarming response to those who find only fault and no community value in higher education.”
Sounds like it would make an excellent metric for the performance funding formula Education Minister Simon Birmingham wants to introduce.