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Engine of change or adherence to trends? An inventory of views

Institutional Management in Higher Education

The purpose of this article is to assess the interaction between higher education and societal development. The question addressed is whether higher education engineers societal change or adjusts to global requirements. The answer is both. However, the impact of higher education is not easy to measure. It depends on the interventions undertaken by the stakeholders: the university, government, private sector, and civil society. These interventions may have contradictory effects. Education based on students’ desires can create highly skilled people who may not be required by society. The societal requirements of government, the private sector, or civil society may conflict. These conflicting requirements particularly can become conspicuous when higher education institutions perform in a global network.

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