Monday, September 21, 2009
Papazisis Press has just published the book by Andreas N. Papastamou, University of Athens lecturer, entitled ‘Prometheus educated. European Universities and the challenges of the industrial age' (in Greek).
The author examines the problems faced by university education in Greece today (private universities, immunity within university grounds, the link between the labour market and university, scientific research and its applications, academic freedom, etc.) which 150 years earlier, other European states speculate upon. The pages of this book present the amazing development of European universities during the Industrial Revolution, when rapid technological progress and the creation of modern, powerful states, laid new foundations for both economic and social growth and development.
The foreword to the book is written by the Chairman of the Maniatakeion Foundation, Dimitris Maniatakis. Among other things, the book refers to the problems of the age of globalisation and the recent international financial and credit crisis, and stresses that universities ought to play a dominant role in society, teaching ethical principles, values and standards, and proposing solutions to major problems. A modern university can provide answers, assist citizens in developing into well-rounded, conscientious members of society, and create socially-aware academics with a strong sense of responsibility, for the good of our society. In conclusion, the author writes, ‘ One hundred years earlier, all European universities, which had realised the social and economic developments that were unfolding around them, modernised and laid the foundations for future development. The current ‘model’, which sees universities as gateways to high-paid senior executive posts and easy riches, is outmoded and must be radically changed and adapted to the needs of the modern age’.