In too many occasions we get carried away by topics that serve as axioms and absolute truths, keeping us from looking at reality with a bit of freedom. The area I know best, the university, is not exempt from this way of approaching things. For years, I have supported a point I think is obvious: the United States of America (U.S.A.) university model is the one that works best in the world. Of course there are splendid universities in other parts of the world, but taken as a whole system, in my opinion, the best one is the best at formation the best at researching with the best quality and the more people reaches. These properties are indicated in most of the studies. Of course, I cannot hide the fact that if there are the best universities, it is likely that this system also contains some of the worst. Flexible systems often show these apparent contradictions.
When talking about universities other what must be mentioned is that objectives are to create and transmit knowledge. Only well done research generates knowledge. Transmission can be done in many different ways: in classrooms, articles, books, papers, conferences, inside and outside universities. In any case, neither teaching nor research is only performed today at universities (this is changing rapidly in recent years). A good university is one in which, in addition to research, teaching is done, and not vice versa. This model of university is looking for the best students, and that is also the model that the best students and the most prestigious teachers look for. It is the one that has the most social support, and is with the best performance; where the best practices are carried out. And best practices only make sense if students are placed as one of the cornerstones around which university activity is organized. The U.S.A. can serve as an example.
Research, higher education, U.S.A., Spanish university system