I come from a small island nation in the South Pacific Ocean known as Aotearoa / New Zealand. One real distinction we have is the following.
Under the Education Act (1989, and earlier incarnations), universities are required to have all the following characteristics:-
- to be primarily concerned with more advanced learning, the principal aim being to develop intellectual independence;
- to undertake research and teaching that are closely interdependent, with most teaching done by persons active in advancing knowledge;
- to meet international standards of research and teaching;
- to be a repository of knowledge and expertise; and
- to accept a role as critic and conscience of society.
Imagine if every Canadian academic carried out the last responsibility too.