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The University in the Twenty-first Century

Teaching the New Enlightenment in the Digital Age

Yehuda Elkana (1934-2012) and Hannes Klöpper
edited by Marvin Lazerson

Yehuda Elkana was Former President and Rector of Central European University (1999-2009). Elkana was an Auschwitz survivor who became an international scholar and public intellectual with a deep commitment to open society.
Hannes Klöpper is CEO & Co-Founder of iversity GmbH. works on the digital transformation of corporate professional development and European higher education. It enables academic institutions as well as knowledge-based companies to offer interactive online courses to learners around the world.
Marvin Lazerson is Professor of Higher Education in the Department of Public Policy, Central European University and Professor Emeritus at the University of Pennsylvania.

This volume addresses the broad spectrum of challenges confronting today’s universities. Elkana and Klöpper question the very idea and purposes of universities, especially as viewed through curriculum—what is taught, and pedagogy—how it is taught. The reforms recommended in the book focus on undergraduate or bachelor degree programs in all areas of study, from the humanities and social sciences to the natural sciences, technical fields, as well as law, medicine, and other professions.

The core thesis of this book rests on the emergence of a ‘New Enlightenment. This will require a revolution in curriculum and teaching methods in order to translate the academic philosophy of global contextualism into universal practice or application. Are universities willing to revamp teaching in order to foster critical thinking that would serve students their entire lives? This book calls for universities to restructure administratively to become truly integrated, rather than remaining collections of autonomous agencies more committed to competition among themselves than cooperation in the larger interest of learning.

“Yehuda Elkana’s life-long passion for higher education and his equally radical insights into how teaching and learning ‘could be otherwise’ were guided by his conviction that we need a New Enlightenment. Yehuda’s wisdom and experience merge with Hannes Klöpper’s enthusiasm and know-how of the digital world. The outcome has deep implications for universities and curriculum development facing the global contextualism of the 21st century.” - Helga Nowotny, Former President of the European Research Council and Professor Emerita of ETH Zurich

“The distinctive, intellectually omnivorous voice of the late Yehuda Elkana resonates throughout this jointly authored and edited volume. This book is about learning: how and what we learned in the past, what we learn now, and why and how the digital revolution changes the ways we learn.” - Patricia Albjerg Graham, Harvard University

“Deconstruction of the established system of higher education seldom invites committee-minded academic administrators to venture into reading another book that invites self-fl agellation. This comprehensive and lucid treasure book is the exception. This is not another self-help book for fi xing the university of the twenty-fi rst century but a method of thinking through the underlying problems, offering very practical conclusions. Uniquely relevant for five continents!” - András Sajó, Member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences; Vice-President, European Court of Human Rights, Strasbourg

“This book reflects Elkana’s deep knowledge about the British, German and American university systems, complemented by the audacious perspectives of the young scholar Klöpper on where the digital world will lead us. It is intellectually rich and not just readable but engrossing for all who care about the future of universities in democracies. The authors convincingly argue that the idea of the university has to be radically reinvented, if it is to last.” - Georg Winckler, former Rector of the University of Vienna and former President of the European University Association

“Elkana and Klöpper explain why and how universities have to respond if they are to retain any meaningful role in a world that desperately needs to be better understood and requires more knowledgeable and concerned citizens.” - Liviu Matei, Provost, Central European University

302 pages, 2016

978-963-386-038-0 cloth $55.00 / €48.00 / £37.00