The existence of conflicting messages on the role and status of the university is linked to a wider paradox of values about science in society. Value is attributed to science and assumed by the university in the context of the move to knowledge-based economies and societies, yet this has not been accompanied by a systematic and balanced debate about the values that should underpin socio-economic change. Questions are then raised about both the effectiveness of public policy and the role of universities in society. A reconnection between the application and production of knowledge is needed, as well as the reinsertion of a normative framework for guiding and shaping change within universities. Only under such conditions can a meaningful debate on the roles of universities as places of expectation and spaces for reflection be realized. © 2006 Taylor & Francis.
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