If universities measure their worth by their impact on the real world, then those in the Commonwealth are strongly placed to demonstrate their value, writes David Jobbins.
In often adverse financial and political circumstances, many achieve academic excellence and contribute to national development. It is such qualities that the judges of The Times Higher 's Commonwealth University of the Year award will be seeking.
Richard Bourne, one of the judges and head of the Commonwealth Policy Studies Unit at London University's Institute of Commonwealth Studies, said: "Universities are crucial in preparing the next generation of leaders, scientists, thinkers, innovators and managers.
"The Commonwealth is, above all, a mutual learning association and it is right that it should have an award to celebrate university achievement."
Other judges are Brenda Gourley, vice-chancellor of the Open University; John Rowett, secretary-general of the Association of Commonwealth Universities; and Tim Shaw, director of the ICS.
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