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Vessuri, Hebe and Teichler, Ulrich (eds.), Universities as Centres of Research and Knowledge Creation – An Endangered Species?, Sense Publishers. Rotterdam and Taipeh: 2008. ISBN 978-90-8790-479-1. Pages: 280.
Today, unprecedented emphasis is being placed on research as the key motor for advancing the knowledge society and its offspring, the knowledge economy. Consequently, “research on the state of research” has moved high on the priority agendas for governments, for their specialised agencies and bodies devoted to this area, and for higher education institutions. Against this background, the central premise of the 2006 Global Colloquium of the UNESCO Forum for Higher Education Research and Knowledge “Universities as Centres of Research and Knowledge Creation – An Endangered Species” was that research is a key ingredient in the institutional identity of universities and an indispensable prerequisite for a successful programme of teaching and public service.
Based on contributions to this Colloquium, authors from twenty countries from all regions of the world analyse aspects related to the research function of universities. This book primarily addresses the variety and gaps in higher education across the globe, concentrating on the challenges to transitional and developing countries. It addresses the related issues of research capacity, research productivity, and research relevance and utility. Research capacity appears as a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for research productivity; and research productivity must be assessed in terms of utility and relevance. This volume provides a global range of insights both for policy makers and for higher education and research communities.