This chapter looks at how the engagement of civil society organizations with the world of higher education has resulted in interesting trends in social policy formation and knowledge production. Illustrated through examples of effective engagement between higher education institutions and social and human development efforts of civil society – PRIA in Asia and The Afrikan Multiversity in Africa – the paper draws lessons from these interventions, highlighting future potentials for higher educational institutions (HEIs). Advocating the view that research and teaching functions of HEIs should serve the larger mission of human and social development, it looks at the gains to be obtained from such partnerships. Exploring alternative sources and modes of learning and knowledge production, the paper provides a vision of the possibilities that engagement with civil society can open up in terms of contribution of HEIs to social and human development in the coming decades.
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