Research for sustainable societies – the role of universities

University Research Benefitting Society

Universities are unique in combining education, research and innovation as components of their core mission. The development of the knowledge society has meant that universities are ever more focused on enhancing their research and innovation capacity. This requires adapting swiftly to ever changing circumstances and being more involved in tackling our many societal challenges. New knowledge creation is crucial while more applied research and knowledge transfer are widely recognised as key drivers for social and economic development and sustainability.

Research also has a major role to play in informing the educational process, and thus in improving the quality of university education. It is also essential to universities’ capacity to exchange and cooperate with international partners.

In this new global era of international research and graduate education, the development of strategies for research capacity building is becoming increasingly important at the level of individual institutions as well as for countries and regions.

At all levels, efforts are made to ensure and improve the quality, both of research and of research based education. Attracting and nurturing talent is of particular importance and also often entails greater clustering and concentration.

Collaboration with other universities and research institutions, but also with industry and a wider range of other stakeholders is important for building and pooling capacity, and enabling innovative, interdisciplinary research approaches.

The present conference will explore how universities collaborate in research, addressing issues of high national, regional and global priority: water, energy, and the related environmental and sustainability challenges. In tackling these specific and strategic topics, the conference will discuss more generally the question how Arab and European universities can work closer together in promoting research and research based education, and will also explore relevant policy and funding frameworks. Involving university leadership along with policy makers, it will seek to provide concrete recommendations for policy making at inter-regional level.

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Mohammed V University, Rabat, Morocco- AECHE  | www.um5.ac.ma