2016 Lecture

Beyond the competition fetish: Higher education for global wellbeing

To watch a video of the entire event, click here.


Professor Rajani Naidoo
Chair in Higher Education Management and Director International Centre for Higher Education Management,
University of Bath, U.K.



Universities everywhere have a competition fetish. There is a modern-day magical belief that competition will provide the solutions to all of the unsolved problems of higher education, protect against risk, and drive up quality. Drawing on insights from anthropology and political economy, the term fetish is used to describe an irrational belief in the quasi-magical powers of competition and the need to transform relations between people into relationships between things. This year’s Worldviews Lecture on Higher Education will explore the varieties of competition in higher education; the material, social and psychological animators of competition; and the consequences of these processes on global wellbeing. The view that there is no alternative to competition will be countered by highlighting global wellbeing trailblazers and by introducing potential new visions for higher education and alternative ways in which it can be organized.

When: Wednesday, April 13, 2016, 1:30pm to 3:30pm, followed by a reception
Where: Ground Floor Library at OISE, University of Toronto, 252 Bloor Street West, Toronto

This event was webcast live on April 13.
View video footage of the Worldviews Lecture 2016 HERE