What makes us talk about a funiversity? Because we know they aren’t. Why should a university be fun? Universities are serious things and what’s explained in the classes (whether large rooms or virtual spaces) has to be serious and transcendental. It’s true. There are many things in life that aren’t fun, or attractive, or entertaining. Death isn’t fun. A job we don’t like isn’t fun. But all those things that we want, that we like and that we are passionate about are usually fun and entertaining – at least to us, anyway.
I believe in a university that can make students (and faculty) enthusiastic. I believe in a university that can generate intelligent dialogue and passionate debate. I believe in a university that is attractive to those who want to get to know it. A university that is entertaining for those who want to learn. A funiversity.
But what does that mean exactly? I don’t know exactly. But I am sure that students and the world in general have changed over recent decades; whereas universities remain much the same, much the same as they were ten centuries ago. I am sure that believing that knowledge flows from professors’ lectures is not the solution for 21st-century universities. And I am sure that students come into contact with the world via the media.
The media act as a window onto the world. But the media also act as a window onto our emotions. This is the reality that universities continue to ignore. In today’s society of entertainment, universities are not responding, preferring empty classes and mediocre results to changes that would affect their very DNA.
(May 2010 – Lluís Pastor)
The Eleventh Innovation Forum to be held on Friday 14 May is to look at the concept of Funiversity, which as the speaker describes relates to how communication media are changing and will continue to change universities.
- Speaker: Lluís Pastor Pérez, Director, Information and Communication Sciences Department, UOC
- Date: 14 May 2010
- Time: 10 am – 11:30 am
- Venue: UOC headquarters (Josep Laporte Room). Av Tibidabo 47, Barcelona
- Please confirm attendance by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org