Ronald Barnett is Emeritus Professor of Higher Education at University College London Institute of Education, where he was Dean of Professional Development, and subsequently Pro-Director, responsible for the Institute’s longer term strategy. He is a past-Chair of the Society for Research into Higher Education (SRHE), was awarded the inaugural prize by the European Association for Educational Research for his ‘outstanding contribution to Higher Education Research, Policy and Practice’, and is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, the SRHE and the Higher Education Academy (HEA). He is a Visiting Professor at several universities in the UK and across the world, and has been a guest speaker in 40 countries.
For over thirty years, he has been advancing a social philosophy of the university, and more widely to establish the field of the philosophy of higher education. In his work, he has been attempting to identify creative concepts and practical principles that might enhance universities and higher education. His (30) books include – just published – The Ecological University: A Feasible Utopia (2018), which follows a trilogy on understanding the university, Being a University (2011), Imagining the University (2013), and Understanding the University (2016). His books have been translated into several languages and several have won prizes. He has been described as ‘one of the most eloquent defenders of the university of reason’ (Michael Peters, 2014).