Universities are not here to be mediums for the coercion of other people, they're here to be mediums for the free exchange of ideas.
Personally, I think universities are finished. So much rubbish gets taught.
This is why universities, and civil society more generally, are so important for a democracy like ours, founded on a genuine idealism that we have a hard time holding on to. They provide a space to question whatever we are doing in the name of things we say we believe in or might believe in.
In the 1970s, what I, as a young foreign student studying in the United States, found most dynamic, exciting and impressive about this country is what much of the world continues to value most about the U.S. today: its open intellectual culture, its great universities, its capacity for discovery and innovation.
Including my nine years as a student, the majority of my life has been at Hokkaido University. After my retirement from the university in 1994, I served at two private universities in Okayama Prefecture - Okayama University of Science and Kurashiki University of Science and the Arts - before retiring from university work in 2002.
I'm not an academic philosopher, and don't agree with the way the universities approach the subject. I'm a philosopher only in the very loose sense of someone interested in wisdom and well-being attained through reason. But I'm as interested in psychoanalysis and art as I am in philosophy.
Great research universities must insist on independence from government and on the exercise of academic freedom.
When I'm introduced at invited lectures at other universities, the students place a Bobo doll by the lectern. From time to time, I have been asked to autograph one. The Bobo doll has achieved stardom in psychological circles.
Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Leeds have successful financial services sectors. There are good universities there which provide great opportunities for local technological innovation. And there are strong multinational and family businesses.
Universities which deliver high quality research and innovation will be an essential part of that future.