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Universities should rethink ‘success’, conference hears

European universities are using an outdated model to assess excellence that does not capture the needs of the market, a Brussels audience has been told.

Studies have warned of a mismatch between graduates’ skills and the needs of the economy, yet only technical universities across Europe are training students to be entrepreneurial, speakers said at a conference on 20 September. Part of the problem, they said, is that universities are still doing research and innovation in a “linear way”. 

“We are still thinking about an inside-out [approach] beginning at the universities,” said Maarten Steinbuch, a professor of control systems technology at Eindhoven University of Technology. “We generate start-ups and we push them out. I think we should develop a new model, I call it the fourth-generation university.” 

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