Professor Mats Benner from Lund University will discuss aspects and intentions of societal engagement coducted by universities, and why confronting and combatting societal challenges is integral to higher education's objectives.
‘Engagement’ in higher education: How does it affect the missions of education and research?
Universities today are expected to contribute to a wide variety of goals: not only providing excellent education and research (goals that in themselves are laden with contested meanings) but also to engage with societal challenges. Such challenges range from the very local to the global, and universities now commit increasing resources - with their own money and through partnerships - to centres and institutes dedicated to such challenges. But what does societal engagement really mean, and how does it affect the missions of education and research? How are partnerships devised and goals identified, by whom and with what consequences? This presentation will address these issues, drawing on examples from Scandinavia, Asia, the US and Australia.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER
Professor Mats Benner is a professor in science policy studies at Lund University and at the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm. He is currently researching how the political focus on impact affects universities and their faculty: in terms of organisation, leadership, recruitments and reward systems, and how academics' strategies are shaped by - but also shape - notions of impact.
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