Universities in Change: As a Brief Introduction

Part of the Innovation, Technology, and Knowledge Management book series (ITKM)


Universities have always been changing. Ever since the inception of the first universities at the end of the twelfth century universities have responded to changing societal, economic, and political contexts. Cumulatively this process of change created a university system at the turn of the twenty first century, that is completely different from the system of centuries ago. This can be exemplified in three basic characteristics of the university system (Brockliss 2000). First, the size of the university sector has increased. For instance, the number of European universities has grown from 40 in the 1400s to 150 in the early twentieth century. In the mid-1980s there were 500 universities in Europe and this number has been growing continuously through higher education institutions obtaining university status, for instance in the UK . There the number of universities has increased by a factor of 2.5 since the early 1980s. Second, and not completely unrelated, the number of students has increased continuously. Brockliss (2000) identifies three growth periods, the thirteenth century, the sixteenth to the early seventeenth century, and the late 19th to the early twentieth century, which, however, does not compare at all to the growth experienced since the 1960s. While in the sixteenth century about 2.5 % of the male population enjoyed what now is a tertiary education (Brockliss 2000), it is currently in the Western Economies slightly less than 30 % of all adults (OECD 2010).


Business School High Education Institution Entrepreneurial Activity Academic Freedom Thirteenth Century 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Asheim BT, Coenen L (2005) Knowledge base and regional innovation systems: comparing nordic clusters. Res Policy 34(8):1173–1190. doi: 10.1016/j.respol.2005.03.013 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Audretsch DB (2007) The entrepreneurial society. Oxford University Press, OxfordCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Brockliss L (2000) Gown and town: the university and the city in europe, 1200–2000. Minerva 38:147–170CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Gjerding AN, Cameron SPB, Wilderom CPM, Taylor A, Scheunert K-J (2006) Twenty practices of an entrepreneurial university. High Educ Manage Policy 18(3):1–28CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Debackere K, Veugelers R (2005) The role of academic technology transfer organizations in improving industry science links. Res Policy 34(3):321–342CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Etzkowitz H (2003) Research groups as “quasi-firms”: the invention of the entrepreneurial university. Res Policy 32(1):109–121. doi: 10.1016/S0048-7333(02)00009-4 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Etzkowitz H, Leydesdorff L (1999) The future location of research and technology transfer. J Technol Transfer 24(2):111–123CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Etzkowitz Henry, Webster A, Gebhardt C, Terra Cantisano BR (2000) The future of the university and the university of the future: evolution of ivory tower to entrepreneurial paradigm. Res Policy 29(2):313–330. doi: 10.1016/S0048-7333(99)00069-4 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Friedman J, Silberman J (2003) University technology transfer: do incentives, management, and location matter? J Technol Transfer 28(1):17–30CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Grigg T (1994) Adopting an entrepreneurial approach in universities. J Eng Tech Manage 11(3–4):273–298CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Guerrero M, Urbano D (2010) The development of an entrepreneurial university. J Technol Transfer. doi: 10.1007/s10961-010-9171-x Google Scholar
  12. Jacob M (2003) Entrepreneurial transformations in the Swedish university system: the case of Chalmers university of technology. Res Policy 32(9):1555–1568CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Laukkanen M (2003) Exploring academic entrepreneurship: drivers and tensions of university-based business. J Small Bus Enterp Dev 10(4):372–382CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Lee YS (1996) “Technology transfer” and the research university: a search for the boundaries of university-industry collaboration. Res Policy 25(6):843–863CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Liu X, White S (2001) Comparing innovation systems: a framework and application to chinachina’s transitional context. Res Policy 30(7):1091–1114CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Leydesdorff L, Meyer M (2003) The triple heliox of university—industry—government relations. Scientomatrics 58(2):191–203Google Scholar
  17. Mintzberg H, Waters JA (1985) Of strategies, deliberate and emergent. Strateg Manag J 6(3):257–272CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Mowery DC, Sampat BN (2005) Universities in national innovation systems. In: Fagerberg J, Mowery DC, Nelson RR (eds) The oxford handbook of innovation. Oxford Universtiy Press, Oxford, pp 209–239Google Scholar
  19. OECD (2010) Education at a glance 2010. OECD Publishing, ParisCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Rothaermel FT, Agung SD, Jiang L (2007) University entrepreneurship: a taxonomy of the literature. Ind Corp Change 16(4):691–791CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Slaughter S, Leslie LL (1997) Academic capitalism: Politics, policies, and the entrepreneurial university. The Johns Hopkins University Press, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  22. TUM. (2011). Meilensteine der TU Geschichte. Accessed 22 Aug 2011
  23. Van Dierdonck R, Debackere K, Engelen B (1990) University-industry relationships: how does the belgian academic community feel about it? Res Policy 19(6):551–566CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Youtie J, Shapira P (2008) Building an innovation hub: a case study of the transformation of university roles in regional technological and economic development. Res Policy 37:1188–1204CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Internationale Hochschule GmbHMCI Management Center Innsbruck-The Entrepreneurial SchoolInnsbruckAustria

Personalised recommendations