Social responsibility and the knowledge production function of higher education

A review of the literature

Authored by: Christopher S. Hayter

Routledge Handbook of the Economics of Knowledge

Print publication date:  December  2014
Online publication date:  December  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415640992
eBook ISBN: 9780203082324
Adobe ISBN: 9781136178658


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Policymakers around the world recognize that universities have a responsibility to serve the needs of the societies in which they are embedded. Clark Kerr, former Chancellor of the University of California System, framed this responsibility in terms of the creation and dissemination of new knowledge:

We are just now perceiving that the university’s invisible product, knowledge, may be the most powerful single element in our culture, affecting the rise and fall of professions, even social classes, of regions and even of nations. Because of this fundamental reality, the university is being called upon to produce knowledge as never before … and it is also being called upon to transmit knowledge to an unprecedented proportion of the population.(2001)

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