The relationship between higher education and society

Write a reflection on your views about the relationship between higher education and society.

You might start by considering your beliefs about the purposes and/or functions of education more broadly. You will likely need to consider your own definition of education before exploring its possible purposes and/or functions. For example, does education only encompass the formal systems in place, i.e. schooling, higher education etc., or is it something broader?

Having examined your views about the purposes and/or functions of education, you might also reflect on the purposes of teaching and learning, and explore how these may, or may not, be connected to the wider purposes of education which you have identified.

Next, focus specifically on higher education. In your view: what are its purposes? What is it for? Is this different from, or similar to, what it should be for? Discuss.

Consult your institutional and school/departmental/unit documents (for example, mission statements, strategic plans and similar, etc.). Based on these documents and the relevant statements therein, what do you understand about your institution’s and school/department/unit’s position with respect to its relationship with society? From your own professional experiences, consider the extent to which stated policy/commitments align to actual practice.

While completing this exercise, you may have identified a range of purposes of education, and higher education, in society. Keep these in mind as you consider the ideas presented in this section.