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X International Russian Higher Education Conference (RHEC) "Contributions of Higher Education to Society and Economy: Global, National and Local Perspectives"
Higher education has become a powerful institution that numbers over 200 million students worldwide. Individual choices to pursue a university degree are mostly prompted by various benefits one is looking to receive, such as securing a higher social status, landing a good job for a life well lived, etc. However, the contributions of higher education are not limited to personal welfare. It is a challenging task to understand how and to what extent higher education can yield non-monetary outcomes across individual, community and national dimensions. Recent discourse has increasingly emphasized the role of universities as an important linchpin in producing knowledge, sociocultural values, civic engagement, and social cohesion. For all that, various stakeholders—policymakers, households, corporates, etc.—have come up with different conceptions and expectations about how higher education should contribute to the society and economy. Therefore, more conclusive, multi-prism insights are required in order to more plausibly gauge how multiple actors have conceived of the socioeconomic role of higher education and how these conceptions relate to the way universities have actually been performing across dimensions. This evidence will provide the crucial groundwork to draw upon when devising more robust roadmaps to enhance university contributions as better aligned with what stakeholders are looking for.
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