The 2012 World Universities Forum (WUF) will be held at the University of the Aegean, Rhodes, Greece from 8 to 10 January. Inspired by the success of the World Economic Forum held each year in Davos, this year marks the Universities Forum’s fifth meeting and continues its examination of the current status and future possibilities of the university.
In 2012, the World Universities Forum maintains its commitment to the examination of this broad theme, and welcomes papers on a range of relevant topics. However, in light of one of today’s most pressing questions, the special focus of the plenary sessions at this year’s WUF will be: "Beyond the Neoliberal University?" This focus is intentionally interrogative because, while the neoliberal university is currently the dominant model, its long-term viability is in question. All around the world a broad range of related measures — including budget cuts and austerity policies, privatization, managerialism and de-professionalization, growing student indebtedness, and "academic capitalism" and its elevation of readily marketable research — are compromising, or at least changing, the university’s traditional role as an essential institution for both individual opportunity and broad societal improvement. The 2012 World Universities Forum aspires to initiate a conversation on how the we might address the profound impact of the neoliberal model of the university and consider new possibilities for the future.