Conseil supérieur de l'éducation
 
IN THE WORKS - University Teaching and Research: PARTNERSHIPS AND THE MISSION OF UNIVERSITIES

In the context of globalization and a knowledge-based society, the key role played by the universities in quality education, research, and the production and dissemination of new knowledge is increasingly being acknowledged. The State, industry and local communities are encouraging universities to step up their participation in economic development and the search for solutions to social problems. As such, considerable pressure is put on them to take part in even more research and teaching partnerships. The goal is to promote synergy between the universities and outside organizations in order to stimulate the innovation required for social development.

 

Far-reaching questions

To begin with, the Conseil supérieur de l'éducation feels that universities must have contact with the local community to fulfil their threefold education, research and community service mission. The theme of university partnership raises such far-reaching questions as participation in innovation, intellectual property, ethics and probity, the dissemination of scientific projects and marketing of university research.

The Conseil asked its Commission de l'enseignement et de la recherche universitaires to critically examine some projects carried out in the context of partnerships in order to assess their contribution, inherent problems, questions raised and possible limitations on universities’ ability to meet social needs and solve social problems. It intends to focus especially on the spinoffs of partnerships on student training. The Commission will closely analyze partnership conditions, the challenges this represents and obstacles to overcome, from the universities’ viewpoint.

The brief being prepared should:

  • facilitate an understanding of the environment leading the universities to establish partnerships;
  • survey the different forms of partnership in order to define their specific characteristics, discover the problems involved and identify the challenges specific to each;
  • reveal the guidelines to be respected in the context of training partnerships;
  • touch on the university system’s operation and organization related to the various forms of partnership;
  • look at how the universities’ mission is affected.

The Conseil hopes that its brief, which should be released in 2002, will help guide the universities and the Minister of Education in their aims, choices and the manner in which they carry out their partnership projects.


Panorama • Volume 6, Number 1 • February 2001

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