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higher education mission third mission understanding

Analysis of the Missions of Higher Education Institutions within the Scope of Third Mission Understanding

Alper Kesten

Universities are more than institutions only conducting research and educating students in today’s world. Changing conditions in the world show .


Universities are more than institutions only conducting research and educating students in today’s world. Changing conditions in the world show that there is a need for redefining the functions of universities. This is called the third mission of universities. Starting from this perspective, this study aims to examine, first, the missions of all state and private universities in Turkey within the framework of the “third mission,” one of the most important priorities of universities today. The study results show that universities in Turkey adopted the third mission understanding to a certain extent, and particularly with the influence of the Council of Higher Education (CHE). However, they should do more related to the continuing education (CE), and, partially, to the social engagement (SE) dimensions. While many of the world’s leading universities include concepts such as service-learning, public engagement, or outreach in their missions and programs in order to seek integration with the societies in which they exist and with all the stakeholders with whom they cooperate, collaborate, and conduct important related activities, it is a concern regarding Turkey’s future that many universities (about 23%) did not even reflect the third mission understanding in their mission statements.

Keywords: Higher education, mission, third mission understanding.

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