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Excellence, relevance and the university; the missing middle in universities’ socio-economic engagement

Perry, B and May, T 2006, 'Excellence, relevance and the university; the missing middle in universities’ socio-economic engagement ' , Journal of Higher Education in Africa, 4 (3) , pp. 69-9.

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Abstract

The international political economy for higher education is marked by an increasing globalisation and regionalisation of activities. In this context an emphasis on the roles of universities as engines of economic growth and sub-national economic and social development can be seen. However, the de-contextualised nature of dominant neo-liberal global pressures gives rise to particular sets of issues for universities and a “missing middle” between contexts of knowledge production and application. This article explores these issues in comparative context, drawing on empirical work undertaken on regional science policies in Europe and considering the implications for African universities as they seek to fulfil a diverse range of scientific and civic roles. It is structured in three sections. First, it examines the global pressures that are leading to a rethinking and rescaling of science. Second, it analyses changing discourses around excellence, relevance and context and in so doing identifies a convergence in models of national science policy. Finally, it examines the implications for the global university order, including issues of stratification and diversification and a resulting tension that emerges between the expectations of higher education and their capacities to deliver. It is this missing middle that needs consideration if expectations and capacity are to be more realistically matched for greater benefit.

Item Type: Article
Themes: Subjects / Themes > B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BD Speculative Philosophy > BD143 Epistemology. Theory of knowledge
Subjects / Themes > L Education > L Education (General)
Subjects outside of the University Themes
Schools: Colleges and Schools > College of Science & Technology > School of the Built Environment
Colleges and Schools > College of Science & Technology > School of the Built Environment > Centre for Sustainable Urban and Regional Futures (SURF)
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Higher Education in Africa
Publisher: CODESRIA Council for the Development Social
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0851-7762
Depositing User: H Kenna
Date Deposited: 04 Oct 2007 08:55
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2013 16:48
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/546

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