Universities have marketed themselves in the public sphere and justified public funding for their activities on the grounds that they serve the public good. They have traded on their Enlightenment inheritance that they are the guardians and creators of knowledge produced for the greater good of humanity in its entirety. They are seen and claim to be seen as the watchdogs for the free interchange of ideas in a democratic society; they claim to work to protect freedom of thought, including the freedom to dissent from prevailing orthodoxies.
"International League Tables and Rankings in Higher Education: an Appraisal,"
1, Article 4.
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