The global impact of urbanization presents unprecedented opportunities and profound challenges for universities. It significantly impacts the expectations placed on universities and where in the world – and the city – they need to adapt their institutional infrastructures, pedagogical practices and ways of operating. The multiscalar networks of global urbanization mean urban universities must be understood as being more than simply located ‘in the city’. The ‘new urban university’ is regionalizing and globalizing in dramatic, chaotic ways. What capacities do universities have as urban leaders in a globalizing world? How can universities better mobilize in, and for, extended city-regions? How can marginalized urban communities inform universities’ spatial and strategic actions? Situating the New Urban University responds to the challenges of global urbanization by illustrating how higher education providers can better serve people in places, versus drawing people to a place. By taking stock of the influence major sociospatial changes in urban regions have on universities (e.g. globalization, neoliberalization), the project: (1) provides an international assessment of universities’ engagement practices and impacts; and (2) presents a major comparative examination of higher education systems at the city-regional scale. In-depth studies of universities’ spatial strategies in the London and New York global city-regions will speak directly to best practices in creating and sustaining reflexive, resilient university-society networks for diverse communities in urban contexts. Stakeholder involvement from the initial phases of the research allows the project to integrate direct input from in the research design and outputs. Situating the New Urban University deepens academic and policy understandings of how knowledge transfer takes place in global city-regions, enabling higher education and urban policymakers to optimize universities’ contributions and societal impact.
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