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The Proper Role of Universities in the 21st Century - Essay Example

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This paper "The Proper Role of Universities in the 21st Century" discusses the role of universities that has changed many times through the centuries.  From the twelfth through the fifteenth century, higher education in England was reserved for the men of the church.  …
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The Proper Role of Universities in the 21st Century
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Download file to see previous pages  This modification in the rationale of universities has been motivated by the knowledge of economic theory which postulates that ideas, and the ability to influence them, are of more importance than the traditional factors of production. In this type of economy, a world-class university is of increasingly useful benefit.

Universities in England are currently undergoing vast changes unseen since the creation of the vocational-based polytechnics programs of the 1970s (Deem, 2002). “Universities are the research engines of our society. They create new knowledge. The number of breakthroughs and innovations that come from universities is endless. In fact, it is almost impossible to think of one that hasn’t been initiated by an academic” (Thomas, 2002). Many scientific discoveries worldwide have been based on the work of British university research. The UK, with just one percent of the world’s population, produces eight percent of the world’s scientific papers and funds 4.5 percent of the world’s science. Science is increasingly creating new jobs, providing better health care, cleaning the environment and fighting crime. “We have a remarkable track record in this country of world-class research. To realize these opportunities we must build on our existing science base, to ensure excellence in science across the UK. Our plan is to invest in our schools and universities and widen opportunities” (Byers, 2000).

The present governing party in the UK has clearly acknowledged that universities must play a major function in the emerging knowledge economy by strongly supporting the universities in this vital role. The nation’s science budget which stood at 1.3 billion when the current government came to power has nearly tripled in real terms to its current 3.3 billion.   ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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