UtopiaS and Reimagining the Reimagining of Higher Education

Change log

Critiques of contemporary UK higher education oscillate between troubling ideological influences and working within the remit of these matters. In response to such circularity, this paper examines the contribution of future-oriented discussions that concern the ‘what could be’ rather than that ‘which is’. This is achieved first through a genealogical analysis of utopian thought and theory that traces from the modern’s problematic and potentially totalitarian preoccupation with the realisation of grand visions to the postmodern and feminist poststructural interest in the abstract utopian “wish” (Jameson, 2005), and second through applying these observations against existing “reimaginings” of higher education. Upon observing the emphasis these reimaginings place on expertly developed blueprints and singular frameworks for change, the final part of this paper develops a means of researching and teaching the future of and within higher education that favours the multiple and the subjective. Although this method, utopiaS, does not promise nor seek the concrete realisation of an objectively better sector, the perspectives that arise from its application will offer further insight into the shortcomings of the contemporary university. By supporting the exchange of ideas, utopiaS may also broaden the hopes and imaginative horizons of researchers, teachers, participants and peers, thereby pushing against the walls of the circle between ideology and utopia

higher education
Journal Title
Cambridge Educational Research e-Journal (CERJ)
Conference Name
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
CERJ, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge
Publisher DOI
Publisher URL