What are Universities for?

A one-day symposium on

‘What are Universities for?’

18 May 2011, Cardiff School of Management, UWIC, Llandaff

Universities are central to the development of the modern world and face increasing – and sometimes conflicting – expectations from individuals, businesses and governments.  Academics, who are the creators and guardians of the life of the University, have their own requirements, expectations and aspirations, for teaching, scholarship and research.  During this one-day Symposium, its first event under the Universities theme, the Society will address the key question, What are Universities for?

The Symposium will include presentations and discussions from a range of different perspectives: cultural, philosophical and personal; the purely scholarly perspective – research and scholarship for their own sake; the government perspective – its expectations and its policy on funding and in other key areas; and the perspective provided by the universities’ role in promoting economic growth and renewal and in meeting the needs of employers.

A brochure is here: What are universities for 2011 and a programme is here: Programme.

Confirmed speakers for this event include :

  • David Rosser (CBI Wales)
  • Professor Graham Richards (Oxford University)
  • Professor Sir John Meurig Thomas (Cambridge University)
  • Professor Dai Smith (Swansea University)

and, in addition, the chair of the recent independent review of the governance of higher education in Wales

  • John McCormick 

The report was commissioned by the Welsh Assembly Government and published in March 2011; it can be downloaded here: Achievement and Accountability. 


On 21 June 2011 the Society published the Proceedings of this Symposium. Click here for more information and here for a downloadable copy of the Proceedings.