Moscow State Institute for Tourism Industry n.a. Yu.A.Senkevich (RUSSIAN FEDERATION)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2015 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Page: 7648 (abstract only)
ISBN: 978-84-606-5763-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 9th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 2-4 March, 2015
Location: Madrid, Spain
The 3rd millennium has brought new challenges and profound changes in all developed countries, and in the members of the European Union in the first place. The ideologists of the European Union see European higher education institutions to be the focal points for imparting what is known, interrogating what is not, producing new knowledge, shaping critical thinkers, problem solvers and doers so that Europe could have the intellectual muscle needed to tackle societal challenges at every level necessary and advance European civilisation [Report to the EU, 2013].
Traditionally, European Universities have always been major contributors to the development of national economies and societies but in the 21st century this mission has deepened as the less developed member state of the European Union aim at reaching a level comparable to the best developed countries in Europe.
Today, more than ever, universities in Europe and all over the world are expected to play several roles in the broad process of socio-economic development at the local, national, and / or supranational levels (Hölttä 2000; Charles 2003; European Commission 2003). The roles the higher education institutions are expected to include the traditional role of knowledge generators, but also that of human capital developers, social and cultural developers of their regions, money earners and major contributors to the development of local communities and beyond.
As higher education institutions are among the most important sources of knowledge and innovation, governments are looking into ways of mobilizing them for economic development [OECD, 2007]. Thus, while building a new large-scale national economy, China has invested much effort into enlarging, renovating and sharply improving its national education system, paying a particular attention to the higher education.
As major producers of added value, higher education institutions contribute much to the local and regional economies and thus play a significant role in the development of cities, regions and even countries. But in the European Union, the Universities, besides being knowledge generators, educators, researchers, and innovators, have turned into economic developers of 28 national economies and the EU supranational economy, basing on the new ideas and approaches (including economic ones) and functioning as developers of a new type of mentality – the all-European mentality.
As agents of social development, Universities provide opportunities for students of all backgrounds to increase standards of living for themselves and future generations. But also, higher education institutions boost the processes of social integration within the national borders and intensive social development beyond them.
The paper discusses the role of higher schools, which – primarily considered to be local players only – have gradually developed into national and supranational economy and society boosters and major innovators and developers at regional and global levels. The authors offer a list of recommendations aimed at facilitating interactions and developing partnerships between higher education institutions and all stakeholders involved in the whirl of higher education and professional personalities development.
economic developers, society changers, innovative leaders, responsibility, accountability, producers of merit goods.