Universities: in, of, and beyond their cities

Brennan, John and Cochrane, Allan (2019). Universities: in, of, and beyond their cities. Oxford Review of Education, 45(2) pp. 188–203.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/03054985.2018.1551198


Universities are necessarily implicated in processes of globalisation and neoliberalisation. But this also finds an expression in the ways that they operate in the cities in which they are located. They are always located in place, but the question remains whether they can be understood to be of the places in which they find themselves, capable of contributing to their development as learning cities. That is the question explored in this paper, with the help of evidence drawn from a research project in the United Kingdom which examined the regional role of four contrasting universities in four different urban locations. The paper highlights the importance of understanding the complexity of the relationships between universities and their cities - universities negotiate their roles within particular urban settings, and they do so in instrumental ways, reflecting their own distinctive institutional priorities.

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