Commercialisation Impact of Universities

The Commercialisation of universities has had a damaging effect on academic values

Universities perform a key role in contemporary societies by educating a large percentage of people and generating knowledge. Many universities have taken actions to support commercialisation but Commercialisation Impact of Universities is having negative influences (Perkmann 2013). Commercialisation clearly represents an important way for academic research to contribute to economy and society. However, excessive commercialisation of universities may affect academic values. Currently, increasing people have began to associate education with money and believe that education can bring profit. Commercialisation at universities, specifically the commercialisation of academic output, has become an economic imperative since the 1990s, forming part of the changing role of universities. Teaching-learning, research and community engagement have traditionally been central to most universities(Grobler and Niekerk 2010). Universities have been seduced by commercial opportunities and are increasingly keen to seek funding from society, foundations, companies to make the university’s operating increasingly commercial(Bok 2003). Inevitably this trend greatly damages academic values. In this essay it is argued on Commercialisation Impact of Universities that the commercialisation of universities has negative features on academic values, specifically the purpose of research, the academic atmosphere and the talent cultivation.

Commercialisation Impact of Universities

Commercialisation Impact of Universities

First principal reason of the Commercialisation Impact of Universities why commercialisation of universities have a negative effect on the academic is that universities are more likely to ignore the purpose of academic values of exploring and discovering truth. Firstly, the universities may focus more frequently on the economic benefits. Universities expand the demand for income earning for the survival of the universities(Nadirkhanlou et al 2012). For instance, many schools in order to have better teaching equipment and employee more professional teachers to compete with other universities which means they need more money. Secondly as we can see on the word bank website, the government does not pour enough money on education as much as before. Nowadays government puts money on many different aspects for example, health, technology, art, physical and do not have enough money on education especially in some developing countries. Especially in developing countries, their primary purpose is to invest money to develop the economy instead of Investing money in higher education. Furthermore some companies in order to obtain business benefits, ask some universities for help to do researches about business. Knowledge as the main competitive advantage in the world economy has very important role in companies development(Nadirkhanlou 2012) and they are tending to support universities do researches about how to develop new products to gain higher sales and higher profit. The acquiescence and connivance attitude of the universities in this kind of behavior has undoubtedly contributed to the spread of this bad atmosphere in high education. As professors receive more and more funding from some companies or groups outside the school, they will no longer be able to guarantee that their researches will not be disrupted by external market forces. Carrying out scientific research under the guidance of the value of personal interests will undoubtedly cover up the true value of scientific research. Without the value of scientific research, the disciplines and professions established on the basis of scientific research will not last along term.

In addition to the Commercialisation Impact of Universities that the open academic atmosphere is probably threatened. First of all,recent studies of the impact of commercialization pressure on the research environment suggest that the trend is viewed unfavorably by many in the research community, and is associated with a variety of adverse effects on the conduct, integrity or direction of research (Caulfield and Ogbogu 2015). For example, a 2014 Pew Research Center survey of members of American Association for the Advancement of Science, which is the world’s largest general scientific association, found that nearly half (47 %) believed that commercialisation of universities have an undue influence on the direction of their research, while a majority (69%) considered that put too much focus on projects which are yield rapid results also has a similar influence on their researches. In order to make scientific research results in the shortest period of time, most researchers tend to choose short-term, difficult and well-funded projects, often focusing on applied research in business. The humanities and social science research projects focus on the basic theoretical aspects, and cannot directly yield benefits, which are easy to be ignored. And then researchers refuse to communicate with others about research results, research methods. Researchers bring their own biases, ambitions and tendencies to their work. Judson(2006) suggested that researchers need to communicate certain academic results to make academic results more long-term and correct which makes academic researches scientific and scientific. Lastly, universities are more focus on the reputation to attract more support from business. Using commercial marketing methods to promote college students and compete with other universities for students. These propagandas are mostly in the form of superficiality, ignoring the introduction of academic value, quality of education and teaching, and scientific research. The reputation of a university is difficult to verify and the academic reputation of research can be reflected in some scientific research results(Leaver 2015).

The third reason for this issue of Commercialisation Impact of Universities that it could be that the excessive commercialization of universities will affect the cultivation of talents. As teachers spend a large amount of  time and energy on doing the researches for business needs which leads to they do not pay enough attention on preparing for class and educating students. Some researchers refer to all commercialisation activities out of usual research and educational functions in academic entrepreneurship definition (Klofsten and Jones-Evans, 2000). University teachers should have taught students high-level knowledge while exercising their ability to think independently. However, teachers in over-commercial universities spend a lot of time and energy on part-time income generation, and the quality of teaching is difficult to guarantee, which directly leads to the decline of the quality of talent training. Moreover universities are more possible to change the purpose of setting a course and open more courses related to business and finance rather than about history or literature. What is worse, if some students are talented in computer science, testing new drugs or engineering but they are not able to receive sufficient education from teachers and are even pushed to study other subjects. At the same time, the commercialisation of talent training objectives emphasizes on practical vocational courses and professors of subject professional skills, ignoring basic theoretical knowledge and knowledge in other subject areas. Dreher (2006) indicated that the purpose of the curriculum is to provide students with a high understanding of the courses they are interested in and making students are highly aware of their career plans. Furthermore the commercialised talent training model pursues efficiency, and the result is that it will suppress the personal interests of college students, which is not conducive to the cultivation of college students’ innovative ability. A person’s interest is related to his or her achievement(Renninger and Hidi 2002). Interests can stimulate people’s creative enthusiasm, curiosity and curiosity. What is more it is one of the strong motivations for people’s activities, and it can make everyone passionate about their academic research.

In conclusion, it had been demonstrated that over-commercialization of universities are highly likely to have a negative impact on academic values. Especially on the research on the Commercialisation Impact of Universities, the academic atmosphere and the talent development. The advantages of commercialisation of higher education are obvious but the damage of it can be ignored, so the government should take the responsibilities to limit the degree of commercialization of the university. In addition , the universities ought to  selectively choose business activities.


Perkmann, al.2013. Academic engagement and commercialisation: A review of the literature on university–industry relations. Research Policy,pp.423–442.

Grobler,W and Niekerk,F.2010.A Proposed Management Framework for Commercialisation of Expertise at Public Universities. Innovation through Knowledge Transfer,pp.127-137.

Bok,D.2003.Universities in the Marketplace: The Commercialization of Higher Education.

Nadirkhanlou, al.2012.Requirements of Knowledge Commercialization in Universities and Academic Entrepreneurship. Innovation through Knowledge Transfer ,pp.179-194.

Judson,B.2006.Scholarly Communication: Academic Values and Sustainable.Available at:

Leaver,S.2015.Why research reputation trumps teaching reputation in universities.DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.15414.

Klofsten,M. and Jones-Evans,D. 2000,Comparing academic entrepreneurship in Europe-The case of Sweden and Ireland. Small Business Economic, Vol.14,No.4,pp.299-309.

Caulfield, al.2007.Steam cell research ethics:consensus statement on emerging issues.J Obstet Gynaecol Can,pp.843-848.

Written by

Md. Shadequr Rahaman

Email: [email protected]

Commercialisation Impact of Universities

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