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Abstract

This QNRF-funded project features a cross-national investigation of the influence of higher education development and science capacity-building on scientific knowledge production. Measuring science on the basis of published papers in selected STEM disciplines, we identify factors behind national differences and global similarities. How does variation in national models and strategies to develop higher education and research universities explain long-term cross-national trajectories in science productivity over the 20th century? Observing unprecedented growth in scientific knowledge productivity, we selected six national cases that represent three phases of higher education development and science-based societies: a major European precursor model (Germany), American broad institutionalization of the currently dominant model, and, finally, Asian (Japan, China, Taiwan) and Middle Eastern (Qatar) innovators seeking to learn from the best. The enormous potential of a knowledge economy and society depends on continued production of scientific knowledge, but also its specification and enhanced quality. Even though scientists globally add to the world's store of scientific knowledge, there are significant cross-national differences in relative contribution. While global production grows substantially, a few nations still produce the overwhelming majority of new science. For example, the U.S. leads the world in research, producing 21% of all research papers (2004-2008). Together with China (10%), UK (7%), Japan (6%) and Germany (6%), these five countries contribute 60% of all publications globally (UKRS 2011). Our preliminary research suggests that differences in key aspects of institutional models of higher education development and science capacity-building are associated with cross-national differences in scientific knowledge production over time. We use mixed methods to analyze the institutional model of higher education development and science capacity-building in these nations over time. Our main measure is the number of published papers in journals, relying on a unique dataset from Thomson Reuters' Web of Science (1900-2011). Examining trends in journal publications in selected STEM disciplines, we analyze how universities, investments in higher education and science, international collaborations, and scientific networks have changed to create the conditions for the "knowledge society". Mainly, this poster presentation explains the influential German institutional model of the research university, which enjoyed preeminent status in modern science's early institutionalization. Placing primacy on autonomous science and valorizing the unity of teaching and research, this type of university continues to dominate German higher education. Yet massive tertiary educational expansion, the rise of extra-university research institutes, and establishment of praxis-oriented universities of applied sciences challenge the foundational principle, threaten this globally popular model, and reduce university-based research capacity in Germany. Nevertheless, Germany's dual pillars of mass universities and prestigious independent research institutes continue to boast one of the largest national scientific outputs globally. With an annual R&D investment of 2.84% GDP (2011), Germany has among the highest levels of science investment in Europe. Measured in publications, Germany still competes at the very top. While still a model for other countries, other top science countries today rely on their universities more in producing competitive science than does Germany. UK Royal Society (2011): Knowledge, Networks and Nations: Global Collaborations in the 21st Century. London

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/content/papers/10.5339/qfarf.2013.SSHSP-05
2013-11-20
2020-12-06
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