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The role of the university in twenty-first century European society

Author

Listed:
  • Stefano Paleari

    ()

  • Davide Donina

    ()

  • Michele Meoli

Abstract

This paper questions what role should universities have in the twenty-first century society. Historically the development of higher education is closely related to the growth of economy and society and university’s mission evolved during the centuries to respond to the changing societal needs. They survived by turning organisational confusion and crisis into opportunities for re-examination, innovation and rejuvenation. The current crisis and the changes we are undergoing can be an opportunity for a new start. However, imagining a new role for universities requires to conceive what kind of society we want to live in, and what are the conditions that will make it possible. In a ‘new society’, aiming at equity and sustainability, universities will be the cultural reference points for their communities, will have an essential role as a social institution, and will contribute to establishing local social dynamics. Universities will be key organizations and supporters in regional and national innovation system, with a primary role in developing the competitiveness of Europe’s economies. Moreover they will have social responsibility and public engagement, linking generations as well as today and tomorrow’s workforce, being the educative reference for students, lecturers, and the whole community. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Suggested Citation

  • Stefano Paleari & Davide Donina & Michele Meoli, 2015. "The role of the university in twenty-first century European society," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 40(3), pages 369-379, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jtecht:v:40:y:2015:i:3:p:369-379
    DOI: 10.1007/s10961-014-9348-9
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10961-014-9348-9
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Etzkowitz, Henry & Leydesdorff, Loet, 2000. "The dynamics of innovation: from National Systems and "Mode 2" to a Triple Helix of university-industry-government relations," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(2), pages 109-123, February.
    2. Audretsch, David B. & Lehmann, Erik E. & Warning, Susanne, 2005. "University spillovers and new firm location," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(7), pages 1113-1122, September.
    3. Powers, Joshua B. & McDougall, Patricia P., 2005. "University start-up formation and technology licensing with firms that go public: a resource-based view of academic entrepreneurship," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 291-311, May.
    4. Meyer-Krahmer, Frieder & Schmoch, Ulrich, 1998. "Science-based technologies: university-industry interactions in four fields," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(8), pages 835-851, December.
    5. David Audretsch, 2014. "From the entrepreneurial university to the university for the entrepreneurial society," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 39(3), pages 313-321, June.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Tommaso Minola & Davide Donina & Michele Meoli, 2016. "Students climbing the entrepreneurial ladder: Does university internationalization pay off?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 47(3), pages 565-587, October.
    2. Humberto Merritt, 2015. "The Role of Human Capital in University-Business Cooperation: The Case of Mexico," Journal of the Knowledge Economy, Springer;Portland International Center for Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET), vol. 6(3), pages 568-588, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    University role; European society; Twenty-first century society; University mission; I23; I24; I25;

    JEL classification:

    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development

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