“Compassionate University – reality or Rhetoric?” (Area 4&6)

Scott Buckler (IoE)

On 30th January 2014, the Compassionate University was launched at the Worcester Arena. The focus on compassion was stimulated through Karen Armstrong’s work, whereby she was awarded a TED prize in 2008, with her ‘Charter for Compassion’ being launched in November 2009. The University of Worcester was the first higher education institute to be recognised as a ‘compassionate university’ in line with the ethos from Armstrong’s Charter.Since the University launch event, this paper identifies themes from the initial launch, through to recent themes identified through the 2015 UW Student Survey. In essence, the paper questions whether the Compassionate University was a rhetoric, or whether it is becoming a reality.

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