The book which has been translated into Persian by Aria Matin and Iman Bahirayi and released by the Research Center of Cultural and Social Studies in Tehran in 352 pages and 200 copies.
Across the world, universities are more numerous than they have ever been, yet at the same time there is unprecedented confusion about their purpose and skepticism about their value. ‘What Are Universities For?’ offers a spirited and compelling argument for completely rethinking the way we see our universities, and why we need them.
Stefan Collini challenges the common claim that universities need to show that they help to make money in order to justify getting more money. Instead, he argues that we must reflect on the different types of institution and the distinctive roles they play. In particular we must recognize that attempting to extend human understanding, which is at the heart of disciplined intellectual enquiry, can never be wholly harnessed to immediate social purposes – particularly in the case of the humanities, which both attract and puzzle many people and are therefore the most difficult subjects to justify.
At a time when the future of higher education lies in the balance, What Are Universities For? offers all of us a better, deeper and more enlightened understanding of why universities matter, to everyone.
Collini is Professor of English Literature and Intellectual History at the University of Cambridge and an Emeritus Fellow of Clare Hall. He has contributed essays to such publications as ‘The Times Literary Supplement’, ‘The Nation’ and the ‘London Review of Books’.