Research Universities: Autonomy and Self-Reliance after the Entrepreneurial University

Policy Futures in Education, Vol. 6, No. 4, 2008

27 Pages Posted: 23 Aug 2005 Last revised: 8 Jun 2014

See all articles by Chris Armbruster

Chris Armbruster

10,000 Data Scientists for Europe


The Entrepreneurial University is a failed idea. This is not to disparage the entrepreneurial activities of faculty, graduates and students. Neither is it to criticise industry sponsored research and co-authorship. University research and higher education have a role in innovation. However, if entrepreneurialism is institutionalised as a policy of governments and universities, all manner of things start to go wrong. Not only do participants suffer from disappointed expectations, as expected returns fail to materialise but also, more importantly, universities that 'go entrepreneurial' ultimately destroy the science commons essential to the university's continued existence.

A systematic critique of the concept of the Entrepreneurial University is offered and key data is reviewed. Simultaneously, a broader research programme on university autonomy and finance is advanced.

Includes coverage of the theory and practice of the Entrepreneurial University such as research funding, intellectual property rights, technology transfer. Discusses the Bayh-Dole Act and evaluates the experience of the University of California.

Keywords: Research university, research funding, university autonomy, university income, Entrepreneurial University, university patents, technology transfer, science commons

JEL Classification: H52, I22, L33

Suggested Citation

Armbruster, Chris, Research Universities: Autonomy and Self-Reliance after the Entrepreneurial University. Policy Futures in Education, Vol. 6, No. 4, 2008, Available at SSRN:

Chris Armbruster (Contact Author)

10,000 Data Scientists for Europe ( email )


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