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Europe: Empowering Society with Knowledge

European Science Foundation (ESF) is taking a big leap forward to launch Europe into Quality Higher Education mode//. Knowledge and education are significant contributors to the economic and social development in European countries, and despite this knowledge, very little research has been initiated that seeks to understand the processes that produce knowledge.

The need of the hour is to evolve better national higher education systems that blend well with the environment, and is also high on innovation. The initial task that the ESF proposes is to embark on a ‘New Forward Look’ that envisages the possibility of higher education across international borders. The research will aim to establish a relationship between knowledge that empowers society, to create a ‘Knowledge society’.

Professor John Brennan from Centre for Higher Education Research and Information, in the UK’s Open University, will lead the Forward Look. In his words, ‘Universities as research centers tend to study absolutely everything but not themselves! I would like to see higher education, as a field of research, taken more seriously. I see this Forward Look as an opportunity to develop a clear, long term research agenda.Europe has a common cultural and economic heritage, so it makes sense to look at Europe as a whole for the purpose of this study’. Once we have established what is particular about higher education in Europe, we can look outward and see what implications this might have on a global scale.

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