I found 2 mission statements of higher institutions. The first one is from Virginia Tech, USA, which is a public land-grant university. The other is from University of Helsinki, Finland, which is one of Europe’s top multidisciplinary research universities.
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) is a public land-grant university serving the Commonwealth of Virginia, the nation, and the world community. The discovery and dissemination of new knowledge are central to its mission. Through its focus on teaching and learning, research and discovery, and outreach and engagement, the university creates, conveys, and applies knowledge to expand personal growth and opportunity, advance social and community development, foster economic competitiveness, and improve the quality of life. (http://www.president.vt.edu/mission_vision/mission.html)
This mission statement is very interesting to me from the aspect that Virginia Tech is a public land-grant university. It serves the public by outreach and extension, which is new to me. In my department Food Science and Technology, some faculty have the partial or full appointment for extension. They will help the food manufacturers on the food safety relating concern or wine makers on selecting wine grapes and fermentation process, as well as providing educational nutrition program for FREE. In China, these kind of services are offered by the governmental agencies instead of research and higher education institutes.
The University of Helsinki is the most versatile institution for science, education, and intellectual renewal in Finland, a pioneering builder of the future. (http://www.helsinki.fi/strategy/)
This mission statement is very short and precise. As the elite multidisciplinary research university in Europe, its call for critical thinking, thriving and inspiring creativity, and the persistant pursue of truth impress me when I was an exchange student in my junior year. The whole community is very friendly to international student, and you will rarely feel to be treated as a foreigner.
Although the two statements are different due to the difference in the type of the institution, both universities are strive to be a better higher education institutes and serve the community more.