Roles and Functions of Universities

Even though there is evidence of similar organizations before, it is believed that the first universities in Europe were established in the 12th century. Since then, they have undertaken essential roles in society and they have evolved in terms of their missions. Created as institutions to preserve and disseminate knowledge, they evolved into institutions in which knowledge is also created and put to use. Such authors as Henry Etzkowitz and Burton Clark, among others, have discussed the evolution of universities over time, especially in terms of their internal changes and their outside contributions and relations. This entry discusses the roles and functions of universities, including the production and dissemination of knowledge and generation of economic and social development.

Universities have always played a major role in ...

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