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This book represents a ‘position statement’ from the intellectually vibrant and challenging debate that emanated from the inaugural conference project launch entitled 'The Idea of Education' held at Mansfield College, Oxford in July 2002. The book conveys a wide spectrum of views about 'the idea of education' in recognition of the fact that 'the idea' is not as straightforward as it may appear on the surface. It seems the universities are not alone in this apparent uncertainty of definition. Further Education seems equally nonplussed as regard its purpose or raison d'être. Furthermore, even for those within the sector, it appears to be a point of much contention as to where Further Education ends and Higher Education begins. The book is divided into three main sections: The Current Structures of Education, Issues within Contemporary Education and The Ambitions of Education. The chapters wrestle, sometimes at variance with each other, with the paradoxes and concerns felt by each writer grappling with the idea of education.