Summary and Conclusions

The advancement of human society is critically dependent on the creation of new knowledge through the conduct of research in universities, institutes, government agencies and industry. In our global future, the world's greatest problems will be tackled by teams of researchers from diverse cultures working across disciplinary, sectoral and national boundaries. World-class universities will be at the heart of this endeavour in many different ways. Our academic staff will not only be leading the immediate and long-term research effort, but they will also be closely involved in the training of the next generation of researchers through undergraduate, master's, and doctoral level education and research supervision. The close integration of education of students (at every level) with research activity will continue to define the world's leading universities.

Building a successful research-intensive university requires excellent institutional leadership that focuses on building world-leading quality in a defined number of research areas, as well as providing world-class research facilities. The ability to attract the very best research-active academic and postdoctoral staff and PhD students is of fundamental importance. Bidirectional student and staff mobility are of crucial importance for the creation of a positive research environment. Supporting these staff in their competitive grant writing is also critically important. Instruction on the key elements of ethics, research integrity and the manner in which primary research data should be handled and stored are now fundamentally important aspects of research training.

The future of the world's leading universities is very exciting as we continue our current journey along the road of the ever-increasing globalisation of higher education. Those universities that rise to the challenges outlined in this chapter will be best placed to make significant impact and thereby achieve world-class university status in recognition of their contribution to the advancement of knowledge and the future of humankind.


1. OECD. (2002). Frascati manual: Proposed standard practice for surveys on research and experimental development (6th ed). Retrieved 27 May 2012 from

2. Jewels in the Crown: The importance and characteristics of the UK's world-class universities.








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