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Leaders of world's top universities gather in Ann Arbor to discuss future of higher education

white building with columns and yellow tree in front
Leaders from the University of Cambridge, Princeton University, the University of Oxford, Harvard University and more are gathered today at the University of Michigan to discuss the public mission of research universities.

Leaders from some of the world’s most prestigious universities gathered for a meeting of the minds today at the University of Michigan.

They are taking part in the UM President's Bicentennial Colloquium, which includes a session titled “The Evolving Bargain between Research Universities and Society.”

Paul Courant, interim provost at the University of Michigan, and Sue Alcock, special counsel for institutional outreach and engagement at the University of Michigan, joined Stateside to explain the what they hope comes out of today’s colloquium.  

Courant described the public image of research universities as being “all over the map.”

“There are some people who think that research universities are great – I’m one of those people – some people who think that research universities are not delivering what it is that society really needs,” he said.

“And our concern here, and the motivation of this work, is to be able to talk about how we can better understand how the research university can serve society and society, in turn, appreciate and support what the research university is doing.”

For the full conversation, listen above.

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