DS 95: Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE 2019), University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. 12th -13th September 2019

Year: 2019
Editor: Bohemia, Erik; Kovacevic, Ahmed; Buck, Lyndon; Brisco, Ross; Evans, Dorothy; Grierson, Hilary; Ion, William; Whitfield, Robert Ian
Author: Thorstensen, Rein Terje; Folkman, Anders; Svennevig, Paul Ragnar
Series: E&PDE
Institution: University of Agder, Norway
Section: Cultural 3
DOI number:
ISBN: 978-1-912254-05-7


Universities are major contributors to societal development, through the formation of aspiring young professionals. In addition to having responsibility for equipping these young professionals with knowledge and skills necessary for becoming attractive participants in working life, universities have responsibility for forming society in responsible and ethical directions.

The authors published an article on this subject at the E&PDE 2018; “Societal responsibility in Engineering Education; a case study on RD&I-cooperation within Civil Engineering.” In that article, the concept of University Societal Responsibility was discussed through a practical case on cooperation between university and industry.

Cooperating on RD&I with private companies might be challenging for governmental universities, as new knowledge is developed to increase the competitive advantage of the funding company only, and thus should not be distributed. The mandate of governmental universities is contradictory to this - to develop and distribute knowledge openly.

The present article is a theoretical extension of the former article, now discussing the foundation for conceptualizing the topic. The conclusion represents an understanding of the concept, presented through a discussed model of University Societal Responsibility.

Keywords: University societal responsibility, Engineering education, Industrial cooperation, Research Development & Innovation


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