Some of University of Auckland’s finest academics are leaving the “ivory tower” and heading to the pubs in Ponsonby ... and a few other places around town.

Auckland is joining a growing list of international universities that have decided to mix education with popular culture (drinking).

On August 29, 20 leading academics will give talks in 10 Auckland bars. The topics range from the ethics of drone strikes to how pop songs are created.

The idea of turning bars into mini “think tanks” for a night came from a group of New York students.

RAISING THE BAR (RTB) spread from New York to San Francisco, London, Sydney, Melbourne and Hong Kong. University of Auckland picked up on the idea while holding a function for its alumni in New York.

Director of Alumni relations and development, Mark Bentley, says: "We are always looking for ways to engage with our alumni, and the younger ones are harder to reach.

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