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Being a civic university means doing research differently


Institutions’ futures lie in being more deeply entwined with their communities, says Zahir Irani

The Covid-19 pandemic is accelerating and amplifying a seismic change in the mission of universities. That shift needs to encompass changes to what and how research is done.

The Research Excellence Framework has compelled universities to pursue and measure their impact in the wider world. Despite this, the characteristics of university research, its routines and ambitions on campus, have stayed the same. Research remains specialist, inward-looking and journal-bound, with a focus on scholarly dissemination.

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