Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, the 4th annual Philosophy and Theory of Higher Education Conference that was planned in 2020 is postponed until October 2021. In the meantime, the organizers invite you to a two-part webinar on 17 March and 21 April. The webinars – “The University as a Revolutionary Constitution” and “The Persisting Social Structure of Higher Ed. in the Context of a Radical System Change and Expansion” – touch on the main theme of the conference.

The webinars are free and open to all interested. However, signing up for the event is mandatory, so if you wish to attend, please send an email, with your name, title and affiliation, and email-address to: Please sign up for the event before March 15, 2021.

A huge thanks to the main organizers Professor Sharon Rider and Dr Mats Hyvönen for their flexibility and engaging spirit and help, greatly appreciated by the whole PaTHES community!

The postponed conference has led to an increased activity online. This is not the first line of webinars. Last year the organizers invited to a two-day webinar on 19 and 20 October 2020 – the original dates of the conference event. The themes of the webinars were “Student Activism and academic freedom” and “Academic experts: on top or on tap?”.

PHEC will be hosted by Uppsala University, Sweden in October 2021

Also, the postponed conference will be held in Uppsala in 2021.

Universities Under Siege?

“The crisis of the university” is a familiar topos in contemporary discussions  about higher education. It is said that the University is facing untold threats from, inter alia, the   anti-intellectualism of populist politicians and authoritarian regimes, the commodification of knowledge from neo-liberal ideas about utility and international competition, the  politicization of teaching and learning arising out of identity movements, the fragmenting of the university in response to stakeholder demands, and so   forth. This conference poses the question: Is this really the case? And, if so, what exactly is being threatened?

Interview with Sharon Rider: Universities Under Siege

The aim of the meeting is to take a serious look at what is ultimately at stake, among other things, by examining the roots of these developments in terms of our conceptions of what is useful knowledge, why it is desirable and what is required to establish, maintain and develop it through our  institutions of higher education.

Download PDF of the Call for Abstracts

For full conference details, visit

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