1st Edition

Human Development and Capabilities Re-imagining the university of the twenty-first century

Edited By Alejandra Boni, Melanie Walker Copyright 2013
    256 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    256 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Globally, universities are the subject of public debate and disagreement about their private benefits or public good, and the key policy vehicle for driving human capital development for competitive knowledge economies. Yet what is increasingly lost in the disagreements about who should pay for university education is a more expansive imaginary which risks being lost in reductionist contemporary education policy. This is compounded by the influences on practices of students as consumers, of a university education as a private benefit and not a public good, of human capital outcomes over other graduate qualities, and of unfettered markets in education. Policy reductionism comes from a narrow vision of the activities, products, and objectives of the University and a blinkered vision of what is a knowledge society.

    Human Development and Capabilities, therefore, imaginatively applies a theoretical framework to universities as institutions and social practices from human development and the capability approach, attempting to show how universities might advance equalities rather than necessarily widen them, and how they can contribute to a sustainable and democratic society. Picking through the capability approach for human development, in relation to Universities, this book highlights and explores three main ideas:

      • theoretical insights to advance thinking about human development and higher education
      • Policy implications for the responsibilities and potential contributions of universities in a period of significant global change
      • Operationalising a New Imaginary

    This fresh take on the work and purpose of the University is essential reading for anyone interested in university education, capability approach and human development; particularly postgraduates, University policy makers, researchers and academics in the field of higher education.

    1. Introduction: human development, capabilities and uiversities of the twenty-first century  Part I Theoretical insights  2. Higher education and human development: towards the public and social good  3. University knowledge, human development and pedagogic rights  4. What is wrong with global inequality in higher education?  5. Education and capabilities for a global ‘great transition’  Part II Policy implications  6. Equity and graduate attributes  7. Employability: a capability approach  8. Capabilities and widening access to higher education: a case study of social exclusion and inequality in China  9. Universities and social responsibility for human and sustainable development  Part III Operationalizing a new imaginary  10. Liberal arts education and the formation of valuable capabilities  11. Teaching for well-being: pedagogical strategies for meaning, value, relevance and justice  12. Global learning for global citizenship  13. Capabilities and a pedagogy for global identities  14. Educating development professionals for reflective and transformative agency: insights from a master’s degree  15. Re-imagining universities: international education, cosmopolitan pedagogies and global friendships  16. Social engagement and universities: a case study from Mexico



    Alejandra Boni is an Associate Professor at the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, Spain, and member of the Development, Cooperation and Ethics Study Group.

    Melanie Walker is Senior Research Professor at the University of the Free State, South Africa, and South African Research Chair in human development and higher education.