Models of university and types of motivation implied :an historical perspective
In this paper, we summarize the long run (institutional) evolution of universities in order to identify key models (ideal-types) and the implied motivations of actors. We analyze the university as a medieval guild, its takeover by the State and its decline; we then focus on the emergence of an open model of scientific inquiry. We show how the Humboldtian model emerging in the early 19th century can be viewed as a synthesis of prior developments. We show its diffusion around the world and after the WW2 its problems in an age of massive expansion of higher education and increased economic pressures. We show that the today movement of academic reforms was at the same time unavoidable but marking a clear rupture with the earlier developments. From autonomy and self-regulation, academic institutions become tools of economic and social policies steered from outside – with clear (negative) effects on the motivation of at least the older generation of academics believing in the old academic (Humboldtian) ethos.
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