Universities are said to be the 'powerhouses' of modern society. They educate leaders and advance our basic knowledge of nature and society. Yet historically they have been vulnerable when meeting the challenges of dynamic industrial democracies or indeed of modern totalitarian states. Today universities are at the centre of society's attention and must therefore balance a great number of contradictory demands and pressures. Can this be done within the structure and ethos of an historic institution called a 'university', or are such institutions now passe and merely part of a bureaucratically managed higher education 'system'? These essays discuss the ways in which universities have coped with complexity since 1800, while retaining their basic 'idea'. Special attention is accorded to the role of the State and the autonomous professions in defining the mission of universities and in their struggle for individuality in the face of mounting pluralistic and bureaucratic pressures.
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Cambridge University Press