Christoph Paret, Institute of Philosophy, University of Vienna
Thinking novelty - that is the real task of universities. They are doing less and less justice to this task:
Today, university curricula are organized along school lines while they cover studying with a dense control network and focus on passing on established results instead of discovery. In the struggle for external funding, there is the need to plausibilize one's research in advance (although novelty is inherently implausible). Policies expect universities to be useful, even though no one knows what the future world - for which students are to be prepared - will be like. In short, within the last 30 years the university has been grounded and become the steward of the status quo.
No one can foresee the lack we are all experiencing with this. For systematic reasons, the unknown, which lies outside our horizon of imagination, has no lobby. Because the new ideas, which one did not have, were such that nobody was expecting (last of all their creator). Consequently, no one notices when they fail to appear. What would need to be done for the future to dawn again at the universities?