The world’s leading universities and research institutes are admirable places, responsible for training rising numbers of people and carrying out the basic and applied science and studies that shape the world. In some ways they are the guv’nor, leading the way to a brighter future and providing the rules for society to follow.

Universities, however, face three challenges: limits to their traditional funding source from the state and caps on tuition fees, competition from the internet, and the consequences of globalization where the competition to attract the best students and professors to climb the rankings.

These challenges mean universities are having to examine their roles of educator, researcher and in economic developer and the contributions made to each while their business model is being threatened and they face increasing numbers of challengers.

Universities have been the primary research engines of most economies as part of a global escalation of funding.…

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