Universities as drivers of societal development?

Luc Weber Chapters and other contributions, Missions & Responsibilities

Michael O. Hengartner and Anna Däppen

Research and teaching have always been the two core missions of uni-versities. But, central as they are, they only cover part of the spectrum of activities of modern universities. Indeed, urgent global challenges and the ongoing transformation of societies from agricultural to industrial to knowledge-based economies, have increased the public interest in profiting from academia also in other areas, including for example the transfer and exchange of knowledge (Ribeiro et al., 2018). Universities are thus increas-ingly expected to actively promote interactions with industry and the society at large. These activities are often referred to as the “third mission” of uni-versities (Etzkowiz & Leydesdorff, 2000).