Function, Form and Funding: What are universities for – and who should pay for them?

29-31 August 2012
University of St Andrews

To mark the 600th anniversary of the foundation of St Andrews University, the School of History and the Institute of Scottish Historical Research are joining with the International Commission for the History of Universities to host an international conference on the theme of 'Function, form and funding: What are universities for – and who should pay for them?'

The conference will explore both the historic and contemporary function of university education and the extent to which its academic purposes have been, and still are, driven by broader economic, social and political issues. Over forty papers will address a range of questions including:

  • Who founds universities, and why?
  • How have sources of funding shaped the range of disciplines taught and research undertaken?
  • How consumer-led have universities traditionally been?
  • How have sources of funding impacted on academic independence and shaped the careers patterns of the professoriate?
  • Are universities to be seen primarily as engines of innovation or as guardians of tradition?

The conference will also feature a series of keynote lectures that explore the conference themes with particular reference to the history of university education in Scotland from the foundation of St Andrews in 1413 through to the present day. 

The conference will culminate in a public lecture by Professor Howard Hotson (University of Oxford) on ‘Universities and the Market: A Neo-Liberal Fallacy?’ followed by a panel discussion of the funding challenges facing the higher education sector today and in the future.

The conference is residential and will take place over three days at the University of St Andrews beginning on the morning of Wednesday 29 August and ending on the evening of Friday 31 August 2012.

For more information please contact Prof Roger Mason

ICHU Conference
Institute of Scottish Historical Research
School of History
University of St Andrews
The Scores
St Andrews
KY16 9AL

Tel +44 (0)1334 462882