"The task of a university is the creation of the future, so far as rational thought and civilized modes of appreciation can affect the issue." So said in 1938 British mathematician, logician and philosopher Alfred North Whitehead, who spent time at Cambridge, University College London and Harvard. While campus life may not be entirely, ahem, rational and civilized, there is no contesting that universities are all about the future.
Today's students represent the Millennial Generation, a technologically savvy, success driven and hopeful group, despite the terrorist violence and corporate scandals they grew up with. And everyone from marketers to employers wants to learn more about what makes them tick and how they're going to shape the coming decades.
Colleges and universities are a breeding ground for the under-25 culture. Students can spend anywhere from a couple of years to seven or eight on campus with limited or no parental supervision, becoming exposed to new types of people, new technologies, new information, new cultures and new forms of entertainment. The life experiences they gain will help determine how they act and think as they enter the real world.
This issue of Work In Progress
examines university life today, from how students are learning, spending their free time and planning their lives to how the university structure itself is evolving. Download the full report