University Role in Knowledge Transfer
The main business of higher education is to teach students and to create new knowledge through research. However, if this knowledge and learning is to be useful it has to be applied to the areas of life where it can generate added-value. This is knowledge transfer. Knowledge transfer has been at the core of university activity since their establishment – from disseminating new research findings around the world to getting graduates with skills into occupations where they can use them.
There is increasing recognition that this aspect of higher education is enormously important and universities are being encouraged to do even more of this kind of activity. However, higher education has traditionally been funded for its two main ‘missions’ of teaching and research, and until recently there was no ‘third stream’ funding for knowledge transfer.