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Creating Knowledge, Strengthening Nations

Creating Knowledge, Strengthening Nations: The Changing Role of Higher Education

Glen A. Jones
Patricia L. McCarney
Michael L. Skolnik
Copyright Date: 2005
Pages: 316
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  • Book Info
    Creating Knowledge, Strengthening Nations
    Book Description:

    Creating Knowledge, Strengthening Nationsis a crucial addition to the debate on the future of higher education.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-7356-4
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. Foreword: The Role of the University and Basic Research in the New Economy
    (pp. ix-xvi)
    Robert J. Birgeneau

    As it enters the twenty-first century, the University of Toronto, like other major institutions of higher education, faces a world more interconnected than ever before and a world in which knowledge, creativity, and innovation are the essential elements of thriving societies.

    Universities have always been keepers and creators of knowledge. They have sought to prepare new generations with the skills, cultural and scientific literacy, flexibility, and capacity for critical inquiry and moral choice necessary to make their own contributions to society. They are well placed, therefore, to respond to the new challenges of educating their graduates for participation in a...

  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xvii-2)
  5. Introduction
    (pp. 3-18)
    Glen A. Jones, Patricia L. McCarney and Michael L. Skolnik

    In these early years of the twenty-first century, institutions of higher education are having to confront the complex transformations currently taking place in the economic, political, scientific, and social climate. The university’s response to the external challenges represented by a knowledge-driven, global economy is increasingly contested, with a view to better balancing the economic purpose of higher education with its cultural, moral, and intellectual purposes.

    This volume seeks to deepen the analysis of this balance and improve understanding of higher education as advancing not merely economic growth and entrepreneurialism but also strategic societal goals of equity and redistributive justice. It...

  6. Section 1. New Pressures, New Roles:: The Changing Context for Higher Education

    • CHAPTER 1 Raising the Pressure: Globalization and the Need for Higher Education Reform
      (pp. 21-41)
      David E. Bloom

      Higher education and globalization have combined to influence the lives of individuals and societies for many centuries. In 1193, a Hungarian nobleman named Miklos left behind the mountains of Transylvania to become the first student to officially register at Oxford University. In the sixteenth century, in Santo Domingo and Mexico, the Spanish introduced universities to the Western hemisphere. More recently, the Humboldt University in Berlin, established in 1810 and known as the ‘mother of all universities,’ marked the first attempt to combine an all-round humanist education with research. Its founder, Wilhelm von Humboldt, wrote, ‘The university teacher is no longer...

    • CHAPTER 2 The Opportunities and Threats of Globalization
      (pp. 42-55)
      Peter Scott

      Universities may be surprised by the impact of globalization – not because it will be greater than expected and, therefore, stretch to the breaking-point the university’s capacity for adaptation; nor because it will be smaller than expected and, therefore, globalization will be a more limited catalyst for change; but because universities may look in the wrong direction and, therefore, be caught off their guard. Instead of being essentially a techno-market phenomenon, leading to a proliferation of virtual, corporate, or for-profit ‘universities’ (which can ultimately be controlled and contained within more plural higher education systems), globalization may present itself as a socio-cultural...

    • CHAPTER 3 Universities in the New Global Economy: Actors or Spectators?
      (pp. 56-66)
      Eva Egron-Polak

      The title of this chapter is formulated as a question. Indeed, the complexity and interconnectedness of many of the issues and trends changing the landscape of higher education mean that there are far more questions than firm answers facing the leaders of higher education. Furthermore, the answers found are rarely clear-cut or applicable everywhere. Of course, universities are both actors and spectators in the new global economy. In other words, they both drive the changes taking place and are subject to the forces that are transforming our world. But unless we probe further, this acknowledgment does not get us very...

    • CHAPTER 4 Universities, Women, and the Dialogue among Civilizations
      (pp. 67-80)
      Ruth Hayhoe

      The United Nations declared 2001 the Year of Dialogue among Civilizations. The purpose of this designation, as elaborated on a special website, is as follows: to ‘emphasize that the present globalization process does not only encompass economic, financial and technological aspects, but must also focus on human cultural, spiritual dimensions and on the interdependence of mankind and its rich diversity’ (http://www. UNESCO sees this dialogue as ‘an essential stage in the process of human development that is both sustainable and equitable. It humanizes globalization and lays the basis of an enduring peace, by nurturing conscience and a common basis...

    • CHAPTER 5 The Future of Higher Education in the Knowledge-Driven, Global Economy of the Twenty-first Century
      (pp. 81-98)
      James J. Duderstadt

      Clearly, we live in a time of very rapid and profound social transformation. We have been living through the transition from a century in which the dominant human activity was transportation to one in which communications has become paramount, from economies based upon cars, planes, and trains to one dependent on computers and networks. We are shifting from an emphasis on creating and transporting physical objects such as materials and energy to knowledge itself, from atoms to bits; from societies based upon the geopolitics of the nation state to those based on diverse cultures and local traditions; and from a...

  7. Section 2. Strengthening Nations, Regions, and Cities:: Higher Education and Society

    • CHAPTER 6 Democratizing Knowledge: Higher Education and Good Governance
      (pp. 101-105)
      Maureen O’Neil

      Higher education can generate and disseminate knowledge deemed to be essential for development. However, since educational institutions generally reflect their cultural and political surroundings, in countries where civil and political rights are denied and where ‘disciplines at risk’ are suppressed, higher education cannot thrive, and development falters. To promote higher education, and to democratize ownership of knowledge throughout communities, the promotion of good governance for democratic and sustainable development is required.

      This is the ground that the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) has been working since its creation by Parliament in 1970. The Centre’s support of development research has always...

    • CHAPTER 7 Reflections on the Difficulty of Balancing the University’s Economic and Non-economic Objectives in Periods When Its Economic Role Is Highly Valued
      (pp. 106-126)
      Michael L. Skolnik

      During the past few years there has been an outpouring of statements by politicians, business leaders, and the media heralding the arrival of the knowledge economy, an era ‘in which the application of knowledge replaces capital, raw material, and labour as the main means of production’ (University of Toronto 2002). Given the central role of higher education in the production, dissemination, and conservation of knowledge, implicit in the idea of the knowledge economy is the belief that a nation’s economic well-being depends critically upon the state of its higher education.

      Insofar as this perception is valid, one should expect the...

    • CHAPTER 8 The Contribution of Higher Education to Reconstructing South African Society: Opportunities, Constraints, and Cautionary Tales
      (pp. 127-154)
      George Subotzky

      The changing role of higher education in creating knowledge and strengthening nations raises particular challenges for developing countries. In the contemporary context, strengthening developing countries entails a ‘dual development imperative’: On the one hand, the basic needs of the majority poor must be addressed, by providing adequate social services and through the substantive redistribution of opportunity and wealth. On the other, it is necessary to engage as effectively as possible in both the new knowledge society and the highly competitive global economy. These two goals are in tension, governed as they are by opposing redistributive and global discourses and practices....

    • CHAPTER 9 The Role of Technical Education in Enabling the Creation of a Knowledge Economy and Society: The Indian Experience
      (pp. 155-166)
      Ramamurthy Natarajan

      Education in general, and professional and technical education in particular, has long been considered an important prerequisite for industrial, economic, and social development. The importance of education has been heightened with the advent of the present information age. In recognition of the importance of education to their national economies, countries around the world have been putting together policies to link education with national economic development.

      This chapter describes the relevant features of the Indian experience in regard to developing and harnessing technical education for national economic development. The systems of higher education and technical education in India are among the...

    • CHAPTER 10 The Role of Universities in Regional Development and Cluster Formation
      (pp. 167-194)
      David A. Wolfe

      As the economies of the industrial countries rapidly become more knowledge-based, universities are seen as holding the key to regional economic development and cluster formation. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development defines the knowledge-based economy as one in which the production, use, and distribution of knowledge and information are critical to the process of economic growth (OECD 1996). Not surprisingly, the role of the university is central to the emerging knowledge-based economy. Indeed a recent survey inThe Economistsuggests the conception of the knowledge-based economy ‘portray(s) the university not just as a creator of knowledge, a trainer of...

    • CHAPTER 11 Campus and Community: Partnerships for Research, Policy, and Action
      (pp. 195-204)
      Beth Savan

      Partnerships between universities and local community groups are proliferating, because they confer significant benefits on all participants (Loka Institute 2002; Sclove et. al. 1998; Campus Compact 2000). Academics are working with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to give their research a local grounding, to respond to urgent community needs, and to gain the satisfaction of seeing research recommendations actually implemented in the form of new policies, programs, and activities (Reardon 2000; Garvin 1995). Students gain exciting applied experience, contacts, and job prospects through their involvement in such applied research projects, and community groups gain access to otherwise inaccessible intellectual and human resources....

    • CHAPTER 12 Global Cities, Local Knowledge Creation: Mapping a New Policy Terrain on the Relationship between Universities and Cities
      (pp. 205-224)
      Patricia L. McCarney

      Cities worldwide are undergoing tremendous transformation because of globalization and rapidly increased rates of urbanization. On this global economic grid, global cities serve as strategic sites both for propelling their nation’s international competitiveness, and by virtue of the functions they perform, for driving globalization itself. Numerous attempts have been made to define and rank global cities. Usually, these are based on attributes that include, among others, the presence of head offices of the largest banks, headquarters of the largest corporations, market valuation of companies listed on the stock exchange, and large numbers of foreign banks. Global cities are rightly regarded...

  8. Section 3. Creating Knowledge:: New Challenges and Roles

    • CHAPTER 13 Creating Knowledge, Strengthening Nations: The Role of Research and Education in Humanities and Social Sciences in Government Agendas for Innovation
      (pp. 227-245)
      Shirley Neuman

      I take as my starting point a phenomenon that does not foreground the humanities and social sciences. Indeed, my starting point often leaves humanities and social science scholars and teachers in the defensive posture of pariahs in technoland. My subject is the agendas that governments develop to improve global competitiveness and gross domestic product (GDP). These agendas are published as government documents, can easily be found on government Web sites, are launched with gravity and hoopla, and are touted as government initiatives and priorities designed to strengthen the nation’s economy. They sally into the world garbed in the rhetoric of...

    • CHAPTER 14 Harnessing Genomics for Global Health: The Role of Higher Education
      (pp. 246-264)
      Abdallah S. Daar and Peter A. Singer

      The International Development Research Centre (IDRC) is a public corporation created by the Canadian government to help communities in the developing world find solutions to social, economic, and environmental problems through research. In the mid-1990s, together with two other Canadian organizations, the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and the North-South Institute (NSI), the IDRC sponsored a landmark study. The results of it became known as ‘the Strong report,’ after its chairman, Maurice Strong. Published in 1996, the report is entitledConnecting with the World: Priorities for Canada Internationalism in the 21st Century(IDRC 1996). It contains recommendations aimed at...

    • CHAPTER 15 Contribution of Higher Education to Research and Innovation: Balancing the ‘Social Contract’ of Universities with Their Drive for Scholarly Excellence
      (pp. 265-272)
      Calvin R. Stiller

      The evolution of a knowledge-based economy has focused the attention of both the government and the private sector on universities as never before. Universities are now recognized as the primary source of the renewable resources – knowledge and discovery – that will determine an economy’s competitiveness. Knowledge is a vital component in this process of research, innovation, and subsequent economic growth. As a result of the complex network of relationships among universities, government, and industry, the optimum model of a public – private partnership has yet to be determined. The new social contract that universities are expected to deliver on, by both a...

    • CHAPTER 16 The Academic-Commercial Interface in a Knowledge-Driven Economy: A View from MaRS
      (pp. 273-282)
      John R. Evans

      Experience since the Second World War illustrates the profound impact of technologies derived from basic university research. Since the war the United States has led the world in public investment in university research and development through a variety of federal agencies. Benefits have been highly visible, for example, in the military and in health but, more generally, economic studies have demonstrated that over half the growth of the United States economy during the past half-century can be attributed to advances in technology, many of which originated in the universities. Economic analysis suggests a high annual return (of the order of...

    • CHAPTER 17 Innovation U: New Practices, Enabling Cultures
      (pp. 283-294)
      Louis G. Tornatzky

      Over the past decade, research universities have become settings for an often-spirited debate about their core mission and activities. Increasingly challenged has been the traditional mission of the institution: research and scholarship, teaching and education, and college and community service. An alternative vision, with greater emphasis on the externally ‘engaged’ institution is in the process of becoming legitimated.

      The impetus for these changes has come from several quarters. For one, historical champions of the land grant university have urged a reexamination of the basic premises and foci of the service and extension roles (Kellogg Commission 2000). In effect, a process...

  9. Contributors
    (pp. 295-298)