The Changing Public Mission of Universities
Chapter 2: Public mission of universities: from ontology, to terminology, to strategy
With sweeping review of the history of universities - starting with the founding of the University of Bologna in 1088 and concluding with the global scope of higher education and science today - we show that the institution of a university has a long record of social engagement with and responsibility towards society. Yet, over the millennium-long university-society relations, this commitment has changed periodically through the addition of three academic missions: teaching, research and commercialization. Currently, with mounting challenges to the ethos of academia, universities are driven to seek a new form of engagement with society’s grand challenges. Such new form, we argue, is the academic commitment and leadership (ACL), which sets a new vision and strategy for universities to set for themselves a 4th academic mission.
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