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Higher education for and beyond the sustainable development goals

Higher education for and beyond the sustainable development goals

McCowan, Tristan, 1974- author

This book analyses the role of the university in working towards the Sustainable Development Goals. In contrast to the previous Millennium Development Goals, higher education is seen to have a crucial role in this new agenda. Yet how can the university fulfil these weighty expectations, and are the dominant trends in higher education supporting or undermining this vision? This book draws on the idea of the ‘developmental university’, a model characterised by its porous boundaries with society and commitment to teaching, research and community engagement in the public interest. The author examines case studies from Latin America, Africa and other regions to analyse how this model can be revived, countering recent trends of marketisation, status competition and unbundling. The book also considers alternatives to the developmental model drawing on indigenous knowledge systems, looking beyond the SDG framework to the creation of a new form of society. This timely volume will be of interest and value to those working in the field of sustainable development, and to students and scholars of comparative education, international development and higher education studies.      

eBook, Electronic resource, Book. English.
Published Cham, Switzerland : Palgrave Macmillan 2019
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Statement of responsibility: Tristan McCowan
ISBN: 303019597X, 9783030195960, 9783030195977
Note: Description based on print version record.
Note: Includes bibliographical references and index.
Physical Description: 1 online resource (365 pages) : illustrations.
Series: Palgrave studies in global higher education
Subject: Education, Higher.
Series Title: Palgrave studies in global higher education.


  1. Introduction.- PART I.
  2. The role of education in development.
  3. The anatomy of the university.
  4. The developmental model.
  5. Three global trends: status competition, commodification and unbundling.- PART II.
  6. Access.
  7. Quality.
  8. Impact on the SDGs.- PART III.
  9. Limits of the developmental model.
  10. The post-development university