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Sociologia, Problemas e Práticas

versão impressa ISSN 0873-6529

Sociologia, Problemas e Práticas  n.56 Oeiras jan. 2008

 

Excelência, relevância e a universidade

O missing middle do envolvimento socioeconómico

Beth Perry * e Tim May **

 

Resumo

A economia política internacional do ensino superior é caracterizada por uma crescente globalização e regionalização de actividades. Neste âmbito, é notória a ênfase colocada no papel das universidades como motores de desenvolvimento económico e social. No entanto, o cariz descontextualizado das pressões globais neoliberais coloca às universidades um conjunto de problemas, tornando necessária a consideração de um missing middle entre os contextos de produção de conhecimento e os contextos da sua aplicação. O presente artigo explora estas questões num contexto comparativo, recorrendo a trabalho empírico sobre as políticas regionais de ciência na Europa. O artigo está organizado em três secções. Em primeiro lugar, examina as pressões globais que estão a levar a uma reconsideração e a uma mudança de escala da ciência. Em segundo lugar, analisa os discursos em transformação sobre excelência, relevância e política de ciência e, ao fazê-lo, identifica uma convergência entre os modelos nacionais de política de ciência. Em terceiro lugar, examina as implicações que daqui decorrem para a ordem universitária global, incluindo as questões da estratificação e da diversificação e a tensão resultante entre as expectativas em torno do ensino superior e a capacidade deste para as concretizar. É este missing middle que necessita de reconsideração, se se pretender que expectativas e capacidade de resposta estejam razoavelmente equilibradas no sentido da obtenção de um maior benefício.

Palavras-chave ensino superior, missing middle, globalização, desenvolvimento socioeconómico.

 

Abstract

Excellence, relevance and the university: the missing middle in socio-economic engagement

The international political economy for higher education is marked by an increasing globalization and regionalization of activities. In this context, an emphasis on the roles of universities as engines of economic growth and sub-national economic and social development can be seen. However, the decontextualised nature of dominant neo-liberal global pressures gives rise to particular sets of issues for universities and a “missing middle” between contexts of knowledge production and application. This article explores these issues in comparative context, drawing on empirical work undertaken on regional science policies in Europe. It is structured in three sections. First, it examines the global pressures that are leading to a rethinking and rescaling of science. Second, it analyses changing discourses around excellence, relevance and context and in so doing identifies a convergence in models of national science policy. Third, it examines the implications for the global university order, including issues of stratification and diversification and a resulting tension that emerges between the expectations of higher education and their capacities to deliver. It is this missing middle that needs consideration if expectations and capacity are to be more realistically matched for greater benefit.

Key-words higher education, missing middle, globalization, economic and social development.

 

Résumé

Excellence, pertinence et l’université: le missing middle de l’engagement socio-économique

L’économie politique internationale de l’enseignement supérieur est marquée par une croissante mondialisation et régionalisation des activités. Dans ce contexte, l’accent est mis sur le rôle des universités en tant que moteurs du développement économique et social. Cependant, le caractère décontextualisé des pressions mondiales néolibérales pose un certain nombre de problèmes aux universités. Il devient nécessaire de prendre en considération le missing middle entre les contextes de production de la connaissance et les contextes de son application. Cet article étudie ces questions dans un contexte comparatif, en se basant sur un travail empirique sur les politiques régionales de la science en Europe. L’article s’organise en trois sections. D’abord, il examine les pressions mondiales qui poussent à une reconsidération et à un changement d’échelle de la science. Ensuite, il analyse les discours en transformation sur l’excellence, la pertinence et la politique de la science, tout en identifiant une convergence entre les modèles nationaux de politique de la science. Enfin, il examine les implications qui en découlent pour l’ordre universitaire mondial, notamment les questions de la stratification et de la diversification et la tension entre les attentes autour de l’enseignement supérieur et sa capacité à les concrétiser. C’est ce missing middle qui a besoin d’être reconsidéré, si l’on veut que les attentes et la capacité de réponse soient raisonnablement équilibrées afin de pouvoir en tirer meilleur profit.

Mots-clés enseignement supérieur, missing middle, globalisation, développement économique et social.

 

Resumen

Excelencia, relevancia y la universidad: el missing middle del envolvimiento socio-económico

La economía política internacional de la enseñanza superior está caracterizada por una creciente globalización y regionalización de actividades. En este ámbito, es notorio el énfasis colocado en el papel de las universidades como motores de desarrollo económico y social. A pesar de esto, el cariz descontextualizado de las presiones globales neoliberales, presenta a las universidades una serie de problemas, volviendo necesario considerar un missing middle entre los contextos de producción de conocimiento y los contextos de su aplicación. El presente artículo explora estos temas en un contexto comparativo, recurriendo al trabajo empírico sobre las políticas regionales de ciencia en Europa. El artículo está organizado en tres secciones. En primer lugar, examina las presiones globales que están llevando a una reconsideración y a un cambio en la escala de ciencia. En segundo lugar, analiza los discursos en transformación sobre excelencia, relevancia y política de ciencia y, al hacerlo, identifica una convergencia entre los modelos nacionales de política de ciencia. En tercer lugar, examina los alcances a nivel universitario global, incluyendo los conceptos de la estratificación, de la diversificación y la tensión resultante entre las expectativas relacionadas con la enseñanza superior y la capacidad de este para concretizarlas. Es este missing middle que necesita ser reconsiderado, si se pretende que expectativas y capacidad de respuesta estén razonablemente equilibradas en el sentido de la obtención de un beneficio mayor.

Palabras-llave enseñanza superior, missing middle, globalización, desarrollo económico y social.

 

Texto completo disponível apenas em PDF.

Full text only available in PDF format

 

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* Beth Perry é research fellow no Centre for Sustainable Urban and Regional Futures (SURF) da Universidade de Salford. E-mail: b.perry@salford.ac.uk.

** Tim May é professor de sociologia na Universidade de Salford e co-director do Centre for Sustainable Urban and Regional Futures (SURF). E-mailt.may@salford.ac.uk.