What does "community" mean in the context of higher education? How is it changing, as colleges and universities are "opened up" to influences in their environment and have to respond? What might the future look like, especially given developments in information and communications technology? Universities and colleges have long been seen as academic communities. This work explores how the nature of these communities is changing under pressure for autonomy to be balanced by accountability; and from resource constraints from the state that is now a sponsor or client rather than a patron (leading to competition rather than collegiality). It also explains the positions of higher education institutions in relation to their regional communities, minority groups, the work of the European Community, and links to employers and learning in the community, at work and elsewhere.
The final section looks at how new technologies open up the global community but also may affect relationships within the learning communities at the heart of higher education's core functions; and looks at the danger of a control culture in a community where IT allows, indeed requires, a record of activities and transactions that are open to surveillance.