The international debate on the physiognomy of higher education started more than twenty years ago, between reforms of organizational and didactic models and profound reflections on the epistemological statutes of every single discipline. However, at the threshold of 2020, the contours of the tertiary training cycle are still blurred. Is university following the rules of markets, in an attempt to keep up with globalization and the frenetic pace of the new economy, or is the homo oeconomicus who carefully observes, with an eye to the future, the changes in knowledge production approaches that are more functional to his interests? The article, starting from the current socio-economic framework, proposes a reading of some of the possible disciplinary approaches dedicated to the planning, production and transmission of knowledge. It also touches the theme of transdisciplinarity, observing it from a constructivist perspective and also semiological, taking up Lotman's theories on the semiosphere. Finally, it suggests the potential traits of a new physiognomy of the tertiary training cycle.
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