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Title: The Role of Universities in the “Open” World 
Authors: Slaets, Peter
Bruyninckx, Herman #
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: Leuven University Press
Conference: Curating the European University location:Leuven date:10-11 Februari 2011
Abstract: Universities are still the major place in society where, worldwide, millions of people create, process, use, adapt and distribute knowledge, in various forms and types. In their mission statements universities often underline their public role in terms of the responsibility for active knowledge sharing between academics and the dissemination of knowledge to the society in general. The ‘public’
role of the university can also be connected to its being a kind of “refuge” for research and education (K.U.Leuven speaks about vrijplaats) which obviously refers to its particular (academic) freedom. In this contribution, however, public refers to the open character of
generated knowledge and technology, though one could argue that current policies at the K.U.Leuven also limit academic freedom and the notion of public that is implied.
Our aim is to focus on the tension between the overall ambition of an increased number of universities for active knowledge sharing and the fact that their concrete policy practices rather discourage knowledge sharing, even encourage knowledge privatization. This tension will be illustrated by focusing on some concrete policy prac-
tices of the K.U.Leuven. More in particular we will clarify that the performance indicators that are formulated by the K.U.Leuven encourages researchers to generate knowledge and technology only under proprietary licenses, that is, licensed under exclusive legal right of the copyright holder. In opposition to this, we will elaborate
in the second part of our contribution on several methods to publish knowledge and technology under open-source licenses and open standards. These methods are not valorized and, as a result, discouraged by current policy practices at the K.U.Leuven.
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IMa
Appears in Collections:Production Engineering, Machine Design and Automation (PMA) Section
Mechanical Engineering Technology TC, Campus Group T Leuven
Technologiecluster Werktuigkundige Industriële Ingenieurstechnieken
# (joint) last author

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