Through a Glass Darkly: Measuring the social value of the university

This report has been prepared during the summer of 2011 for the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE). It was developed following discussion between the authors and the NCCPE regarding the current patchwork of evidence for higher education impact and the need for a holistic approach to capturing the broader value of what universities2 do and their wider impact on society, their ‘social’  as well as economic value. The authors have extensive experience in researching aspects of higher education’s economic impact. They have also undertaken previous experimental work on ways to estimate the overall economic value of higher education institutional outputs, including the ‘non-market’3 activities of higher education institutions.

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