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This chapter provides a core definition of the research university based on the concept of four particular duties. It then turns to the question of excellence. Do recent developments in research promote more excellent research or not. This is a pressing question since excellent research will be one of the planet’s only lifelines as climate change bites. Four issues are examined: over-publication, research culture, discovery research and levelling up

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This chapter considers some of the main actors that go to make up a university, concentrating on the roles of the built environment, academics, technicians, contract research staff, postgraduates and administrators. There is a substantial digression on the growing role of online teaching.

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This chapter continues from Chapter 2 in surveying the different constituencies that go to make up a university, concentrating on students, parents, council and alumni. There is a substantial digression on freedom of speech.

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