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"Self-Formation and the Common Good in Higher Education" by Professor Simon Marginson, University of Oxford

Updated on June 17, 2024 (Mon)

"Self-Formation and the Common Good in Higher Education" by Professor Simon Marginson, University of Oxford

The Faculty was delighted to host a Distinguished Lecture - "Self-Formation and the Common Good in Higher Education" - on June 17, 2024. The lecture was delivered by Professor Simon Marginson, Professor of Higher Education at the Department of Education and Linacre College, University of Oxford. Professor Marginson is also the Joint Editor-in-Chief of Higher Education.


The lecture began with opening remarks by Professor Yang Rui, Dean of Education. Professor Yang highlighted the importance of recognising the traditions and values of both Chinese and Western approaches in higher education. He also emphasised that by understanding these diverse perspectives, we could uncover strategies that nurture both individual and societal flourishing, aiming to shape a more inclusive and equitable future.


During the lecture, Professor Marginson explored the connection between individual self-formation and the common good in higher education. He discussed how this relationship is socially and culturally embedded, and compared the contexts in Western societies, especially those in the Anglophone world, and societies in the Chinese civilisational zone. Professor Marginson concluded that higher education as self-formation emphasises building student agency through engagement in knowledge. This approach is genuinely student-centered, empowering, and knowledge-focused. The way forward lies in a combination of East Asian social awareness and Western humanism, which seeks to strengthen both individual autonomy and the common good. This perspective advocates for higher education that contributes to long-term social and ecological transformation, countering neoliberalism's influence.


After the lecture, Professor Lili Yang, Assistant Professor of the Faculty’s Academic Unit of Social Contexts and Policies of Education, facilitated the Q&A session. Professor Marginson engaged the audience with inspiring responses. Sponsored by the Tin Ka Ping Foundation, this lecture served as a platform for intellectual exchange and fostered a deeper understanding of the important role that higher education plays in shaping individuals and society at large.


The video recording of this lecture is now available on our website: