Bulletin Spring‧Summer 1980

Dr. Clark Kerr Higher Education: More Limited Horizons? by Dr. Clark Kerr (This lecture was delivered by Dr. Clark Kerr, an overseas Council member of this University and Chairman of the Carnegie Council of Policy Studies in Higher Education, at the University on 30th January, 1980) The title that I took for m y brief remarks was 'Higher Education: More Limited Horizons?' and I would like to make m y comments relatively brief. I shall begin with broad reflections on the recent development of higher education, then I would like to make a very quick comment about the situation in Hong Kong and Mainland China (I realize that this would be presumptuous) and one or two more general comments about where higher education around the world may be going. I would like to look back to 1945 and note that the expansion of higher education around the world in the period since 1945 has exceeded several times the total growth of higher education, in terms of numbers, of the prior eight centuries, the prior 800 years since the founding of the University of Bologna which is taken as the starting point for the modern university system in the western world. And one of the greatest social experiments in the history of the world has been this phenomenal expansion of higher education almost all over the world in the course of the period since 1945. I would like to comment very briefly what the expectations were for higher education at the time of this extraordinary explosion of higher education; what we have learnt since then; and how our expectations have been to some extent disappointed, and how to some extent they have materialized. Back in 1945 , when the world was facing this great expansion, it was with high expectations of what would come from the higher education system going from Western Europe to countries everywhere. In those days, as I go back and remember the discussions taking place and reread the literature, there were four great expectations for higher education which I would like to just list and then comment upon one by one. The Four Expectations First of all, the expectation of the contribution 4