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Citizenship, Education and Governance: Identifying the Good Society

International Journal of Applied Institutional Governance (ISSN: 1747-6259) Volume 1 Issue 3

Kerry E. Howell

Introduction

This article intends to raise a number of issues regarding higher education and the value it has for individuals and society. The discussion was first broached by antiquity in terms of the good individual and society and how the two interact. Overall, no hard and fast conclusions have been reached. However, for some reason society seems to value higher education.

Given the value that society puts on education this paper investigates what higher education should do for society. For instance, should universities educate people to be functionaries for the work place or should they provide rational individuals that healthy democracies are supposed to need? Should universities be institutions where people are taught or should they encompass facilitating organisations that provide the environment for individuals to develop individuality? On a more practical level, can the opening up of the higher education system deliver what is needed for society or is it unable to deal with the increased numbers and consequently offering a poor substitute? Overall, can the broadening of the UK education system deliver rational citizens and the good society? This of course leads us to a situation where we need to understand what we mean by the rational citizen, the good society and education in broad terms. In this context, we are led toward the debates of antiquity in an attempt to shed some light on these issues.

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