Something rare happened this week. A small group of university principals, scholars and administrators gathered in a room to ponder the future of universities.

The occasion was the recent publication of Rebels and Rage by the vice-chancellor of Wits University, Prof Adam Habib. The intense deliberation about the book, and what it signals about our future, was rare because senior university thinkers could apply their minds to a vexed subject without the disruption and grandstanding that has come to mark such events.

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, ProfileData financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now