Social good: academic rhetoric or business reality?

Wednesday 24 May 2017 -
09:30 to 10:45

Within their mission statements, universities typically acknowledge their responsibility to work for the good of the local communities and environment in which they operate. However, most universities operate well beyond their local communities and environments. Increasingly, they also operate beyond national boundaries and, for many, their plans are set firmly on achieving global goals and international recognition.

In this context, how real are universities’ commitment to promoting local social good? What part does this play, not only in the rhetoric of their corporate mission statements, but also in the reality of their business planning? Is it possible to balance local social good with global ambition – and what is the impact of one on the other?


  • Patti McGill Peterson, Presidential Advisor for Global Initiatives, American Council on Education, USA (Chair)
  • Dr Ahmad M. Hasnah, President, Hamad bin Khalifa University, Qatar
  • Shirley Atkinson, Vice-Chancellor, University of Sunderland, UK
  • Professor Paul Boyle, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Leicester, UK
  • Professor Derrick Swartz, Vice-Chancellor, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa