Universities, Innovation and Development Processes in the Changing Global Economy


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Universities, Innovation and Development Processes in the Changing Global Economy

  1. 1. Universities, innovation and development processes in the changing global economy Rodrigo Arocena and Judith Sutz Universidad de la Repuiblica, Uruguay roargoce.edu.uy jsutzgcsic.edu.uyAbstractUniversities are undergoing a process of remaking all over the Almost ten years later, there is plenty of evidence thatworld, including developing countries. The importance of universities are indeed focusing on issues of their internaluniversities for development purposes is nowadays consensual; structure: university reforms are being discussed andhow to direct universities reforms to attain developmental goals implemented everywhere. However, the assertive autonomy ofremains, though, highly controversial. The paper focuses on the universities has weakened, and regardless if it is willful or not,ongoing debate about reforms in the public university in Uruguay. interdependence both with industry and government hasThe idea of a Developmental University will be put forward, become either a fact or a goal, without further discussion. Apointing to the notion of building a learning nation - a strategy for . . new wave of concepts iS being proposed to name the emergingthe South in order to avoid that the emergence of the knowledgesociety in the North fosters a new international division of labourthat consolidates underdevelopment. staon: post-em seneu university economy [10], entrepreneurial [9s a a managed [11], academic capitalism [12], the supermarketed university [13]. Globalization adds a new dimension to the ongoing changes: concepts like the transnational university [14] begin to emerge.1.- Remaking universities: an ongoing global process Innovation based on new knowledge or on fresh Universities have been changing greatly during the research has always been the mark of industries like computerstwo last decades all over the world. During the first half of the and biotech; it seems that it is increasingly important for all 1990s a first recognition of the move towards something new economic and social activities. This leads to the concept of "thebegan to be analyzed and theorized. The research system in learning economy", proposed by Lundvall and Johnson [15].transition [1], triple helix [2], model-mode2 [3], from CUDOS The reason why in such an economy learning becomes a keyto PLACE [4], the changing dynamics of research groups [5], social process is "...that the most important trend shift is notthe new economics of science [6], the evaluative state [7]: the more intensive use of knowledge in the economy but ratherthese and other approaches were proposed to grasp the nature that knowledge becomes obsolete more rapidly than before"and extent of the perceived changes. [16]. Life long learning, and a reaffirmation that the most Few of the early texts around these issues were hailing important outcome of universities are creative people able tothe transformation of the academic realm. "Neutral" authors upgrade their knowledge through learning follows thisjust described facts; other authors did not conceal their concern theorization, shedding a different light into university changes.and uneasiness with what was going on. For some observers, Discussions and actions retain, as always, a national orthough, even acknowledging that changes were indeed even local flavor; globalization, however, is imposing a set ofoccurring, nothing dramatically different was emerging, common concerns, needs and patterns. Regarding developingbecause the relationship between universities or academia with countries, globalization is not waiting for them toproductive and political actors has always been changing. As accommodate to changing conditions. Such countries areTerry Shinn puts it: "Historically, university and industry have facing the old challenges of development while the turmoil ofoscillated between assertive autonomy and various degrees of world events is transforming, sometimes dramatically, thewillful interdependence." "I hypothesize that during some context in which development strategies are pursued. One ofhistorical moments education systems and industrial systems such transformations relates to the ways in which knowledgeeach focus on issues of their respective internal structure. At enters into the global economy. Intellectual propriety rights,alternative periods they establish structures of interaction that environmental, safety and technical regulations, standards offrequently entails the invention of innovative transfer quality, constitute knowledge-based requisites to enter themechanisms." "At a given conjuncture, however, evolution in global economy.cognition, techniques and organizational forms, and the For a long time, the recommendation of the mostrepercussions of economic competition, exhaust the benefits influential international financing organizations was to payembedded in extant cooperative arrangements. Misalignment attention to primary school and not spend public money inoccurs. This leads to a renewed search for novel forms of what could only be captured by a tiny minority of a relativelycoordination." [8]. wealthy population, namely higher education. Nowadays this has totally changed and the term "enrollment gap" has been
  2. 2. coined by the World Bank [17] to describe the growing results without any direct benefit for the country where it isdistance between the young population entering higher done -almost always with public money-, the pursuit makes noeducation in developed countries and in the developing world. sense. The fields of inquiry more concerned with this type ofMoreover, the idea that technology transfer is a way of regarded as a luxury poor countries cannot afford.conveying the benefits of knowledge that does not need Discussions are hot in Uruguay, but facts show thatresearch efforts on the recipients side has been apparently such sciences have been to some extent successfully backed.abandoned, after the lessons of Korea and other successful During the years of military rule, 1973 to 1984, academiclatecomers have been fully understood and accepted [18], [19]. migration was huge. Few researchers engaged in basic sciencesIt seems, then, that the importance of building knowledge- remained in the country after the military intervention of thebased problem-solving capacities for a process of equitable only public university, where most of them worked. At the verydevelopment has been settled once and for all and what follows beginning of the democratic recovery basic scientists from allis just implementation. disciplines started organizing the reconstruction of their fields. However, it is far from clear how to try this They were able to build a very successful program -Programimplementation in underdevelopment. Several issues remain for the Development of Basic Sciences- allowing seniorcontroversial, particularly those related to the place of scientists to return, young researchers to be trained throughuniversities in the innovation systems of developing countries master and doctoral studies, and a sound culture of academicand how could the developmental role of research universities evaluation to emerge. The impact of this program can be easilybe enhanced. This paper aims to describe these controversies as assessed: twenty years later, basic sciences account for aroundthey appear in a small developing country, Uruguay; it aims as 40°0 of all full time research positions and a fair third of all thewell to discuss the feasibility of transforming the traditional demand to the different support schemes of the UR ResearchLatin American approach to the universities "third mission" Council. Strangely as it may seem, other academic fields withinto a full fledged development commitment; Sections 2 and 3 wider social recognition, like agrarian or technologicaldeal respectively with these issues. research, were not able to exhibit the bottom-up determination that was key to the organizational success of their basic sciences colleagues. What should be stressed is that at present2.- Uruguay: the terms of the debate the university shows a reasonable presence of research efforts The Uruguayan debate, sometimes open, sometimes in all the great disciplinary orientations -agrarian, basic, health,implicit, reflects the tensions between the ideal of a public social sciences and humanities, and technological.university for all and some hard facts stemming from the The discussions around excellence and relevance havepresent conditions. Should the only public university not weakened the evaluation power of the classical measures of(Universidad de la Repuiblica, UR in the sequel) continue to be excellence, number of papers published in highly prestigiousfree to all or should it charge fees? Should anyone be allowed journals, but have introduced new legitimating indicators.to choose the path he likes and be at school as long as it takes There is a fairly spread feeling that any account of what hasor should each school fix the maximum number of students it been done is not complete if its "social use", direct or indirect,can take and decide for how long the condition of student can immediate or in the long term, is not acknowledged. To whatbe maintained? These are not easy issues in a university where extent this is merely lip service to a new political correctness or55°0 of the students work and where the tradition of total a truly change of perspective is not easy to establish, but evenopenness is strongly entrenched in popular values. at discourse level this trend has consequences, already An interesting feature the debate is that it does not distinguishable.involve, as it used to be, a right-wing government as theuniversity interlocutor. For the first time in Uruguayan history 2.1.2.- Who should determine the research agenda? How toa left-wing government is in place and both government and build socially committed research agendas?the UR are learning the scope as well as the limits of a loosely One of the main discussions within the university, thatspeaking common ideological ground for their relationships. cross all disciplines, is whether the research agenda should be a matter of researchers decisions, taking mainly into account the2.1.- Some debates and initiatives within the university inner logic of scientific development, or instead a matter where broader social and political concerns can or should have a say.2.1.1.- The issues of excellence and relevance and the basic This is not a "fundamental versus applied" classic discussionsciences engaging little more than corporatists disciplinary interests; it is Uruguay does not escape the endless discussion, rather a re-discussion about how to handle the academicparticularly strong in Latin American university tradition, autonomy from political power that the public universityaround what should be assured first concerning research: enjoys.excellence or relevance. As usual when the terms of the debate The arguments in favor of defending the university asare set in blunt terms, the arguments tend to be too simplistic: a main actor in defining research agendas relate to thefor some making first rate science measured in international suspicion that prioritizations coming from political bodies willterms is the only way worth to do science; for others, if such be shortsighted and biased towards the interests of those able tofirst rate science only add to the worlds pool of scientific make their voices heard. This is not a "basic" claim; people in
  3. 3. agrarian and technology research are even more worried by the building collectively social demand; (ii) gathering the researchpossibility of public money for research flying away from the supply that matches that demand; (iii) going from sociallyvery long term efforts that need to be done in their fields than relevant demand to effective demand backed by financial andbasic researchers. The arguments in favor of a strong public organizational resources, as well as by a broad and articulatedpolicy guidance of the research agenda cross all disciplines as set of supporting actors; (iv) problem solving activities; (v)well, expressing the conviction that researchers have no such a implementation of adequate solutions.right to demand freedom to decide how to utilize public The UR is starting for the first time this "demandmoney. It is interesting to note that this discussion is actually driven" integrated approach of the three missions in twoparticularly lively. It could have been thought that now that backward zones ofthe capital city.ideological views prevailing in the Uruguayan publicuniversity are akin with those of the first left-wing Uruguayangovernment, agreement about who should determine research 2.2.- How is society visualizing the university?agendas would have tacitly followed: interestingly enough, it isquite the opposite. In a recent study of perceptions about the public University researchers are generally willing to take university in Uruguay, it was highlighted that the universityexternal demands into account when defining their working plays an extraordinarily relevant role in people minds [21]. It ispriorities. A survey made in 2006 between full-time the only public university of the country; it has played anresearchers of the UR asked about the type of actions needed to outstanding part in the fight against authoritarian rule; itsassure that research results will be effectively applied. Many presence was also important in the process of democraticanswers indicated that for that to happen researchers needed to recovery. It is hard to establish, though, if the found answersbe acquainted with external problems to redirect their research reveal such a high perception of the public university or ratherefforts; they were willing to do that but not to search for the a comparative poor opinion about other social bodies, likeproblems themselves [20]. Better communication through political parties, government and legislative power. Four typespecific search mechanisms, particularly in those fields where of "headings" can be mentioned to organize the answers giventhere are no clear market signals to lead the way, was indicated to the question: how do you visualize the university?.as well as necessary. It is worth stressing that even those who The first one is "University is the lighthouse of theunderstand that university research agendas need to be defined country". Examples are:internally, following mainly academic criteria, are not "It has to play a leadership role".advocating a pure lineal model of innovation as an alibi to do "It has to be a motor for development".what they want to do regardless of any other type of social "It has to be the North for the country".considerations. "It has to align the country with the world". Detecting demand or, as people from extension "In general the University is the intellectual top of the iceberg.vintage like better to say, building demand collectively It is what takes a country to development, in all aspects. It hasinvolving people from university and outside it, is one of the to place the country aligned with the developed world,main challenges when trying to integrate teaching, research and generating the skills (technical, management, etc.). It must leadextension, the three university missions, from the very start. in terms of ideas, projects, and the countrys vision".Finding university researchers able and willing to bias their The second one is "University must lead to theworking programs to tackle with such demand is a second step future":that needs a lot more communication and organized "In this moment, the university should be the entity looking atinformation than that commonly available. But even if a set of the long term because governments change but the universityproblems are detected and all involved actors agree that remains. The university could assume that role, sketching whatsolutions are strongly wanted, effective demand in the sense of this country is going to look like in 20 years from now".a resolute and concrete will to search for solutions and a clear "It should anticipate, telling the country where the world iscommitment to apply the solutions found can be missing. A moving to and what productive alternatives are open to it".third and specially difficult step is to construct effective The third one is "University is the voice of thedemand, involving all the aspects that should be taken into country"account, from financing the research stage to assuring that the"I want the University of my country [...] to be there, it has topreconditions for applying the research results will be put in participate in every important issue for the country ....it has toplace. With these three steps accomplished research work can be there always, in the front line".follow, involving students as much as possible in schemes akin The fourth one is "University is the wholeness of theto the problem based learning style. Finally, the country" (in a country where higher education is highlyimplementation of results is a stage where university concentrated in the capital city and where qualified migrationresearchers deliver a part of what is needed to solve the chosen is very high) "In the to do list ofthe University, it is included the conquestproblem to other actors that will bring the solution to its full deployment, of the rest of the country". This scheme involves teaching, research and extension "The university cannot loose those graduate who decide toin a tightly coordinated work, in each of the five steps: (i) leave. Families do not loose relatives who go to live outside".
  4. 4. Expectedly, no single institution can fulfill these remain in the university, wide diversification of theresponsibilities. The wording of the sentences, moreover, does opportunities for non university public tertiary education:not include other actors. Particularly in the fourth heading, the people widely diverge in what they think is the best way tomore concrete one, it seems simply impossible to cover the guarantee the quality of university education.whole country or to build interconnections with the scientific The terms of the debate are somehow contradictory:Diasporas from university efforts alone. The third heading is high expectations, high demands, feelings of undervery interesting, because it stresses a role that the university, accomplishment, and renewed high expectations. Processes oftypically Latin American, used to fulfill in the fifties and change are developing within the university, trying to alignsixties: to deliberate in its several elected bodies -teachers, facts with expectations. The weak structure of the Uruguayanstudent, alumni- around what happened in the country and in system of innovation is one of the main obstacles to achievethe world, frequently taking official position in relation to the this alignment, because it makes university changes much morediscussed issues. This function was strongly criticized at that dependent on internal forces than on society signals. Thetime for excess of political involvement; it seems that thirty "university loneliness syndrome" [22] persists: its reversalyears later, when the university does not discuss as such needs nothing less than changes in the pattern of development.national and world events, its silence is resented. The secondone, more that commenting on the university seems to 2.3.- University and national politics. the reconfiguration ofacknowledge the extreme shortsighted style of the country relationshipspolicy: it is usually said that Uruguay fails to have Statepolitics because it concentrates rather exclusively in The public university in Uruguay has been identifiedGovernment policies. The wording is unmistakable: it is not with left-wing ideology, a correct identification if referring toonly claimed that the University should look into the future to the organized university student movement and to a greatguide its internal work, it should look into the future and tell extent to the faculty too. Examples are the strong ties to thethe country what to do. unified trade-union organization, to which the teachers The very idea that the University should lead the association belongs, as well as the opening of universityscountry into the world, stemming from the first heading, doors to various expressions of popular movements. Thisrenders understandable a strong perception of failure. The identification has been a source of conflicts between politiciansfollowing are some of the critical indications given by the and university for decades. When the extreme right start rulinginterviewed. The democratic rule of the University of the the country in the late 1960s these conflicts took a brutal shape,Republic is not contested, but the slowness in taking decisions leading some years later to the military intervention of theis criticized; its autonomous status is not contested either, but university. After re-democratization, the university recoveredthe foundational law establishing the quite radical autonomy of all its prerogatives, particularly full autonomy and the right tothe university, passed in 1958, should be updated. Salaries are admit all those who had finished high-school, eliminating theextremely low and should be risen, but the university should admittance examination imposed during the militarystudy seriously other funding mechanisms, like tuitions, instead intervention. Enrollment rose steadily since then, reachingof refusing even to discuss the matter. A university reform is more than 70.000 students nowadays. Political advocacyneeded to help the institution become less vertical, more against what was called neo-liberal governments, going fromintegrated and with a stronger feeling of community, human rights policies to de-regulation policies -includingovercoming the present situation of loose connection of attempts to privatize public enterprises-, plus the endlessindependent units. Poor communication is strongly resented: struggle for more budgetary allocations, allowed for thethe university is not adequately telling the people its continuation of antagonism between university on one side andachievements; ordinary people do not feel that the university is government and main economic forces on the other side. Evenhelping to solve their problems; the university should let so, a steady growth in the relationships between researchsociety enter more broadly through its doors. Prioritization and groups and firms, mainly in the export oriented agro-industrialresearch agendas should be more openly discussed and sectors, can be mentioned.communicated: something like a university radar or antenna to The arrival, in 2005, of a left-wing government haddetect social problems should be put in place. The lack of contradictory consequences for the relationships betweenmutual trust between university and business is criticized, but university and state. University teams were heavily demandedhere the criticism encompasses the business community too for to help coping with one of the main governmental challenges:aversion to risk, scarce demand for knowledge, and under- the implementation of an emergency social plan to rescue fromvaluation of local capacities and technology. It is indigence some hundred thousand people. Identifying the targetacknowledged that university-industry links exist, but as population, defining the poverty line, developing strategies toisolated cases and not through institutionalized linkages. There monitor the effects ofthe policy: all these tasks were demandedare some issues leading to divergent perceptions, mainly to the university. The new managers of the public enterprises -regarding how to finance the university -to introduce or not to that remained public after a referendum in 1992 denying theintroduce fees- and how to assess and eventually improve the possibility of privatization- began to rely much more than inquality of university education. More budget for the university, the past on university research teams to solve some of theirselective mechanisms to choose students, tight conditions to technological problems; the same is true for many of the new
  5. 5. municipal authorities. All this led to a clear cut, strong and accepting the government lead is an integral part of the newcontinuous demand that found the related university teams scenario, and there is nothing wrong with that. The third can beeager to provide answers. Moreover, the government took from called the "university reform" reaction, positing that universitythe university a fair amount of its new high officials, leading to must change because development challenges need a reneweda sort of process of inter-penetration. university; putting aside specific mismatches, the new The relationships with the executive branch of the ambience in the country opens opportunities for collaborationgovernment, however, have not been smooth, particularly so in in a wide range of problems that call for new ways ofa realm of great importance for the university: the policy for university involvement.science, technology and innovation. The most general dissent The debate in Uruguay is installed, and this is a goodrevolves around the conceptualization of the role that the thing: the challenges of development in a globalizing worlduniversity should play in society. Government openly speaks where innovation, knowledge and learning have become soabout the university and its role in terms akin to what Gibbons determinant demand to think again universities, from withinwrote almost a decade ago: "...the critical function of and from outside, aiming at convergence.universities has been displaced in favor of a more pragmaticrole in terms of the provision of qualified manpower and theproduction of knowledge. These changes are not notional. 3.- Developmental Universities: a proposal to linkRather, they are intended to have direct practical impact on the knowledge to the search of equity in a globalizing unequalbehavior and functioning of higher education institutions. The worldnew paradigm is bringing in its train a new culture ofaccountability as is evidenced by the spread of managerialism Transforming public universities is a must to assureand an ethos of value for money throughout higher education that some of the most valued features of the "Latin Americansystems internationally. (...) Though arguments of varying University" [24], an idea built upon the students drivenweight and coherence that point out the limitations of this University Reform Movement of the early 20th century, shall bepragmatic approach may be expected to come from all sides, it preserved and invigorated in the specific conditions of the 21Stis further assumed, here, that no other rationale or justification century.will carry equivalent weight. Relevance is going to become Particularly important is to continue, by other means,something that will need to be demonstrated, not just once but with the social involvement of public universities. This is hardon an ongoing basis. Economic imperatives will sweep all to achieve at the core and easy to push to the margin whenbefore it..." [23]. This approach cannot but find obsolete a full universities are hailed as highly relevant pieces in thefledged university autonomy like the one enjoyed by the "innovation for competitiveness in the global economy" game.Uruguayan public university, even though political correctness There is not a real dichotomy between the two approaches,makes hard to express this view too openly. Consequently, the though; moreover, they can be conceived as complementaryaffirmation of the government leading role in matters related to more than as divergent. The challenge then is to find waysknowledge and research has been accompanied by attempts to toward a meaningful reform in the real conditions of acircumvent the participation of the public university in the new developing country, without a fancy industry eager to pay forinstitutional setting. This has not been helpful in reconfiguring local research, with researchers that live and painfully workuniversity-government relations, something that was somehow there but are judged by international standards of academicgiven for granted after the last national election. The terms of achievement, with a huge but non detected knowledge demandthe debate as proposed by the actual government are even more stemming from the problems of the poor, with the willingnessopenly put forward that under right-wing governments, as if a of many university people to take those problems on board andcommon ground left-wing political ideology would legitimate shift toward them their research agendas.ex-ante the visions that government has in relation to the We think that the notion of Developmental Universityuniversity. Charging fees, prioritization of some careers and [25], [26], [27], [28], can be useful for such aim. In thelimited access to others, influencing working agendas by following paragraphs we discuss that notion, elaborating on amultiplying the money for research in competitive schemes previous paper [29].defined without university advise: these ideas go in a quite It should be recalled that the so-called Humboldtiandifferent direction of those that the majority of the university project for universities is defined by the joint practice of theunderstands necessary, particularly so the student movement. fundamental missions of teaching and research. The This relatively unforeseen situation is leading to three Developmental University can be characterized, in a neo"ideal types" of reactions. The first is the "scientificist" Humboldtian perspective, by the joint practice of threereaction: political power will always be eager to impose its will missions: teaching, research and cooperation for developmentover research freedom, regardless of its political ideology; with other institutions and collective actors.defending the freedom to do first class science is the best way The Humboldtian notion was both an ideal type a lato serve the national interest. The second is the "pragmatic" Weber and a normative project. Real universities arereaction: the government will have a say in the amount of heterogeneous and ever changing organisms, where themoney for research and in the research directions that will be combination at a high level of teaching and research is seldombacked, and so business as usual is not longer possible; the only game in town; but approximations to the ideal type
  6. 6. could be found in practice and the normative project was to (118, 212), Ref. [31]. As Marx anticipated, science is becomingenhance them. Something similar happens with the notion we not only a fundamental productive force but also a directare discussing: it would be a good thing if relevant traits akin productive force. Now, if we consider not only productiveto the idea of developmental university are detected and forces but also social relations, we may speak of an emergentfostered in really existing universities. capitalist knowledge society. Combining such features, it is The notion is embedded in different traditions of quite natural to see a "shift from a public good knowledgesocially committed universities. One of them is the Latin regime, associated with Mertonian values and the VannevarAmerican "idea of University", with its normative stress on Bush model of science, to an academic capitalist regime,"extension" as a mission that may be updated as "commitment associated with basic science for use and basic technology"to human development". If a trend towards the emergence of (103; see pp. 103-107 for a summarized description of suchdevelopmental universities can be detected, the best traditions shift), Ref. [12].of universities are not doomed to vanish. The contrary will The PLACE - academic capitalist regime has thehappens if universities tend to weaken their place as learning strengths and shortcomings of a market-governed regime.communities that, in a context of pluralism, share some values: Externalities, long term issues and social demands are notthis is the sad forecast of the "advent of the university of necessarily taken into account. That is more so incalculation" [30]. underdeveloped countries: market demand for endogenously The last remark suggests a broader perspective. generated knowledge is on average very weak; building aDuring the last decades a great battle has been taking place in scientific and technological basis needs a strong publicthe most prosperous capitalist countries concerning the mission commitment; social demands for knowledge are potentiallyof the university. very relevant, but often potential demanders are not aware that In fact, the relevance of such conflict is inherent to the science and technology can help to solve some of theiridea of "post industrial society" and related terms. In his problems, and more often they dont have purchasing power towidely discussed 1976 book, Daniel Bell asserted that the back their demands.university "is the primary institution of the post-industrial A CUDOS - linear model can resist the dominantsociety", that has already "taken on a vast number of enlarged trend toward privatization of knowledge, but is not wellfunctions, in basic research, as a service institution, and in the adapted to foster distributed and interactive innovationexpansion of general education." More precisely, "just as the processes. That is particularly worrying when the relationsbusiness firm was the key institution of the past hundred years between key potential actors of the innovation system arebecause of its role in organizing production for the mass weak. The last is, more often than not, the case increation of products, the university - or some other form of a underdevelopment. In this context, moreover, reputation in theknowledge institute - will become the central institution of the international "Republic of Science" will not always direct mainnext hundred years because of its role as the new source of efforts towards building a knowledge base for economic andinnovation and knowledge" (44, 246, 344), [31]. social development, which in turn seems to be a necessary Whatever the final verdict of facts may be, a battle for condition in the long run to gain a strong support for researchthe soul of universities is taking place. Ziman (1994) described and higher education in a democratic polity.it as the transition from CUDOS to PLACE, that is, from the The last remark points to a potentially objective basisprevalence of Mertons characterization of academic ethos to a for the idea of Developmental University. In capitalistquite different one. Mertonian norms are: Communalism, knowledge societies, widening inequalities are related withUniversalism, Disinterestedness, Originality, and Scepticism. differential access to knowledge - that is, to education, to"This is essentially an ethos for scientists as individuals, influence in the orientation of research and innovation, toseeking the personal CUDOS spelt out by the initial letters of taking profit from its benefits, to being protected from itsthese norms." Public contributions to knowledge are the basis damages. Such inequalities are particularly sharp in theof the traditional "reputational careers" of academics. A peripheries of the capitalist knowledge societies, that is, in thedifferent type of research careers is governed by principles that underdeveloped regions. In such contexts, how can public"can be summed up in the acronym PLACE, indicating the universities and knowledge institutions in general obtain, asnature of the reward that can be won by performing collective actors, material support and reputational rewards?Proprietary, Local, Authoritarian, Commissioned and Expert Perhaps, by strong commitment with diminishing inequalitieswork." Many issues arising in academic work "can best be as those mentioned above.understood in terms of the conflict between these two cultural That aim implies fostering: (i) generalization offorms", CUDOS and PLACE. (177, 178, 179) Ref [4]. lifelong advanced education; (ii) research that backs human The need to go beyond such dichotomy is apparent development, particularly social policies; (iii) cooperation withwhen the conflict between cultural forms is related to the different collective actors, in order to increase the beneficialchanging and increasing role of knowledge in the distribution use of knowledge. These are main features of the notion ofof social power. Bell described the centrality of theoretical Developmental University. They have descriptive as well asknowledge as the organizing axis of both techno-economic prescriptive interest, because they can be seen both asdevelopment and social stratification (112), Ref. [31] in the indicators of what is really happening and as goals for policies,emergence of a science-based society, or knowledge society
  7. 7. so they deserve special attention both from researchers and advanced education can only be "active education" that helpspolicy-makers. people to learn how to keep on learning and solving problems In empirical terms, the Developmental University in in a creative way. Innovation Systems all over the world need athe South is first of all a set of questions. In what ways and up host of creatively trained people. That is a main lesson ofto what extent are specific universities fulfilling their missions experience. There is a big deficit of such people in the South.in connection with the main tasks of development when According to different indicators, less than 2% of all the worldknowledge societies emerge in the North? How are universities researchers work in the South. Once and again, it has beenchanging their internal structure in connections with such showed that a fundamental contribution to economicmissions? How are they acting in the context of Innovation development of basic research stems from the humanSystems? We shall stress some issues that that can be seen as capabilities that are built around it and that can then be appliedindicators of how "developmental" universities are becoming. to solving a variety of problems. That means that, if the In prescriptive terms, when knowledge production and Humboldtian project did not exist, it should be invented forutilization is quickly changing, a Developmental University has coping with development problems; for such aim much moreto be capable of self-reflexive innovation; this is the meaning researchers and more university students, creatively trained, arethat [32], in a relevant study of different examples of needed.universities that led inward transformations, gives to theexpression "entrepreneurial university", a meaning akin to the 3.2.- Research related with development imperativesidea of innovative university. Developmental Universities The research agenda of the university is a mainought to achieve a fine-tuning between traditions that are worth indicator of its true role in society. What is researched andto keep and new features that are worth to take on board, what is not researched there reflects a complex web ofbetween long-term commitments to knowledge and immediate interests, power and voice, both internal to the academicinvolvements with society. That cannot be achieved in isolation community and coming from the "external" world. Even if inor by imposition: it can only grow out of multiple and many cases indirectly, the universities research agendas shaperespectful dialogues within universities and between to a great extent the possibilities, direction and scope ofuniversities and widespread social actors. innovation. In the South, the latter presents some important We now turn to a brief elaboration of the main specific challenges. There are problems that are not researchedfeatures of the notion of Developmental University. in the North but of great significance in the South: some of these problems have been researched in the South and suitable3.1.- Generalization of lifelong advanced education solutions have been found; some problems, though, have not The "enrollment gap" is widening due to the different been researched or solutions are not yet been found, neither inrates of increase in tertiary enrollment between North and the North nor in the South, an example of which are severalSouth. That trend highlights the relevance of one of the main "diseases of the poor". On the other hand, there are problemstasks for development in our time, the generalization of that have been researched and solved in the North providing asadvanced life-long education. This seems to be simply well suitable solutions for the South: concerning this kind ofimpossible, in terms of money and human resources, if a innovations, diffusion occurs by all means of technologysubstantial part of the capabilities and infrastructures available transfer. But many of the solutions/innovations found in thein the productive sector are not used for teaching purposes too. North are not able to solve the same kind of problems in theAlso, almost by definition, permanent education has to be South, typically because they are unaffordable there. Thepermanently connected with working activities. Thus, the level matrix of Figure 1 contains three cells that call heavily forof cooperation for teaching purposes between the productive solutions to problems mainly present in the South. Even for theand educational systems can be seen as a measure of the upper-left cell, where suitable solutions for problems in theprogress towards learning societies. South exist, more often that not some type of adaptation to In connection with this issue, at least three aspects local conditions is needed to assure proper functioning. Itdeserve close examination: seems clear, then, that research agendas able to providea) How universities cooperate with other organisms to set a answers to the innovation challenges just mentioned arewide and diversified system of tertiary education that offers needed.learning possibilities to the majority of the population;b) What efforts are being made, at practical and theoreticallevels, to cope with the fundamental challenge, posed by life-long education, of offering advanced education to people ofdifferent ages and backgrounds;c) To what extent tertiary education employs the human andmaterial resources available in the best sites of socially usefulproduction. Quality of education should of course be stressed. Butthis issue can be seen in different ways. From our point of viewit includes reinforcing the Humboldtian project. Lifelong
  8. 8. Research agendas are shaped by different factors, of which a relevant one is the academic reward system. InFigure 1.- A matrix of relations between research, innovation developing countries universities we can often see anand solutions, North and South (DC Developing Countries) "schizophrenic evaluation system" Ref. [22]: while the official discourse praises contributions to economic competitiveness, Innovation in the North No innovation in the the academic evaluation is based on publications in North international journals, thus shifting the research agendas of the Problems for which Problems for which South towards the study of problems highly ranked in the solutions have been solutions have not . . . sound in advanced been searched or found research agendas of the North, although priorities i many countries in advanced countries cases are different. International cooperation agencies could help to change this situation, for example providing funds andInnovatio IThevast. Solutions to recognition for researchers working in the South, cooperatingintheSouth of solutionsacquired problems with colleagues from the North in a jointly defined agenda through mainly posed in DC oriented to reduce inequalities, without creating big inequalities technology transfer and developed within researchers in the same locality. locally Promoting the Developmental University includesNo innovation III "Canonical" solutions changing the evaluation system to encourage dedication to IV No solutions (yet)in the South exist, but for different local needs. Research devoted to problems of local relevance Typically health issues scarcity reasons they are should be rewarded, regardless their international acceptance or like vaccines against not suitable for DCs cholera or AIDS impact, if it is of high quality. That requires avoiding both conditions mternational isolation and subordination. Both discussing different approaches and seeking for cooperation at the Source: [32]. international level should be promoted. Strong research groups have their own problems and are able to cooperate with other developmene offitcheap ighthe qdreat An example that fits in the III quadrant is the groups in the solution of those problems and others. One 11 ataldevelopment of a t cheap source of light to treat neonatal indicator of success for research groups in Developmental sou fjaundice. The lamps normally used in neonatal departments in Universities is their capability to foster internationalpublic hospitals are made of halogen light, which implies Universtiesisth.eicapabilt et ister indatioalseveral problems: expensive lamps, very fragile and with high cooperation with an agenda that includes issues and approachescosts of repair, with a wide spectrum of emitted light leading to stemming from the South.long times of child exposure to assure that the very tight development can be highly rewarding both in intellectualspectrum of useful light will be effectual. In the University of terms and in social terms The conjecture that Developmentalthe Republic, a basic researcher in experimental physics got Uni s may exist as conitie th somensaracquainted with the problem through familiar links; he Unva and a ayseific rl in society, iS soeonan er values a es specific in partly based on another reconize immdiaely he poble aswellas apossble conjecture: that manyrole recognized immediaely the problem aswell as a possibl researchers really want to be as sociallysolution given that part of his laboratory work consisted in usefulea psil Studiesoacaemi Diasporas have sown desiningand mplmentng surce f vry recie lghtuseful desinin andimpemetingsouces ofveryprecse lghtthat the motives forStudies of academic Diasporas have people as possible. returning to their home country for shownemission. One of the key issues of the solution was the need for ab toegetaver goo unirty position abro of relethe lamp to be cheap. The solid state approach through LEDs, to a feeling of eygo nvriypsto bet e bodotnrltlighthelmpitoi hodes,wap. soldvtatiapogh social usefulness. Such a feeling is also thebesttechnically, solving all the founvriypplthtwkinheadcniinsf valuablelight emitting diodes, was the best technically, all develoing countries. Scal usefulness, though, isno onrequirements that the halogen lamps did not provide. However ^ ~developing coute Social u n thouh, iS not only *LEDs have very small intensity, and so thousands of them were related to individual will but to the institutional building ofneeded to attain the required power, putting the solid state lamp conditions that allow people to put their knowledge at theout of financial reach. The trick to solve the problem came service of social goals. This is a main justification as well as afrom a physics insight, consisting of a way of concentrating the main challenge for Developmental Universities.beam of light in such a way that with only two hundred LEDsthe needed intensity was attained. Around six years elapsed 3.4.- An expanded notion of extensionbetween the first laboratory prototype -used successfully in A fundamental trait of the Latin American idea ofpublic hospitals- and the production and national and regional University is the promotion of "extension" as a third mission ofcommercialization by an Uruguayan electronic firm of a full university, seen as cooperating, mainly with deprived groups,fledged, officially certified, patent protected (the patent in order to solve social problems. Such mission was supposedbelonging to the university), medical device, baptized BiliLed to be implemented jointly with teaching and research; that(an acronym between Bilirubinemia and Led). During these six proved to be quite difficult in general, but perhaps has wideryears other university researchers got involved, mainly in the p i in the n ct. n x d oin biomedical engineering department. extension iS naturally related with the generalization of lifelong advanced education and with research biased towards human3.3.- The transformation ofthe academic reward system development.
  9. 9. As a main example, consider the combination of including markets - themselves an institution. The better theteaching and first steps in research known as Problem Based institutional system in place, the faster the development. ToLearning (in this connection see Ref. [25]). Problem Based break the chains of comparative advantage that for centuriesLearning is an example of how teaching can foster the bound them to mining minerals and manufacturing miniatureacquaintance of students with social and productive problems dolls, developing countries must again be free to choose theirof the region where the university is located. Thus, it can be own model. If this argument is right, and if giants fan out to theseen as a main tool to relate teaching and extension. earths four corners, the world will again tip toward the In general, fostering student involvement in the learning mode" Ref. [19]: 163.solution of social and productive problems opens natural waysto teach also outside schools and educational organisms in Now, the "learning mode" can be understood in ageneral. As already stressed, that is a must for generalizing wider sense. It is related with a fundamental problem inlifelong advanced education. knowledge-based societies, the problem of coordination of In order to relate research and extension, specific knowledge. In such societies an ever growing set of specializedproblems of productive sectors and those derived from the learning processes are of paramount importance. Due to thesocial situation should be taken on board when defining specialization and fragmentation of knowledge, learning toresearch agendas, in ways that foster all capabilities and do not cooperate between different specialities and actors is perhapsgive the humanities and social sciences a second-rate even more important today than in any moment of the past.treatment. Neo-Humboldtian projects should be evaluated by Efficiency concerning such issue is not easy tothe different ways in which the university cooperates with achieve. [33] asserts that "because the division of labourexternal actors to open new opportunities for using advanced produces a division of knowledge and different kinds ofcapabilities, which as stressed is a main task for development. knowledge are organized in different ways, the coordination of Extension as cooperation with external actors can help knowledge requires more than a set of prices to be effective into build job opportunities for highly educated youngsters. That solving human problems." (:72) Thus, "successful developmentmay be useful especially in underdeveloped contexts, where entails a complex structure of institutions and symbolic storagethe relevance of advanced capabilities is not widely systems to integrate at low costs of transacting the dispersedrecognized. Extension activities may show to different actors - knowledge of modern complex systems, and the failure tolocal authorities, small firms, NGOs - what well prepared achieve such integration is at the heart of developmentgraduates are able to do. problems." Ref. [33] (: 73) Moreover: "The problem of Extension is, moreover, a way of fulfilling a duty that integrating this dispersed knowledge at low costs of transactingshould not be separated from education as a right. In public is one that is not completely solved by a price system. Ituniversities, when enrollment is free or tuition is very low, the requires novel institutional and organizational connections toprivilege of accessing to advanced education should go in hand overcome the public good attributes, externalities, andwith social duties; these could be implemented by a "civil information asymmetries that prevent the price system fromservice" of the university, where students and graduates could fully integrating distributed knowledge." Ref. [33] (: 85) In thecooperate in the socially valuable use of their specific last quotation connections is perhaps the clue term. It may becapabilities. conjectured that universities can be fundamental connecting actors. Universities are main actors in knowledge production,Concluding remarks: on the building of learning nations transmission and utilization. They perform such tasks in increasingly collaborative ways. Thus they may play a main As sketched, the idea of Developmental University role in providing the "novel institutional and organizationalpoints to the notion of building a learning nation - a strategy connections" that is needed in order to integrate "distributedfor the South in order to avoid that the emergence of the knowledge".knowledge society in the North fosters a new international Let us sum up, somehow reformulating the approach.division of labour that consolidates underdevelopment. At the heart of development problems we find failures to Industrialization of the nation was the collective achieve both the expansion and the integration of distributedproject to overcome underdevelopment in industrial societies. knowledge. Achieving such aims can be rightly considered asIt included a learning dimension that today is much more learning processes. Now, learning takes place by enhancingimportant than yesterday. That is a main conclusion of Ref. capabilities of specific actors and also by integrating[19], where the "learning mode" of development appears as the capabilities of different actors in order to solve practicalway of the future. problems; in the second case, the agents that contribute in the "Economic development thus has two approaches. search of creative solutions learn by interacting; the social sitesOne, which supposedly is applicable to rich and poor countries where that happens can be called "interactive learning spaces"alike, recommends free markets to maximize efficiency. The [34]. Actors involved in such "spaces" expand both theirgreater efficiency is, the greater development is. The other, a specific capabilities and their coordinating capabilities, that is,less formal body of thought, likens development to learning their capabilities to cooperate with actors with differenttechnological capabilities and getting institutions to work, perspectives and different stocks of knowledge. The North is
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