Higher Education Management and Policy, Volume 20 Issue 2
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Higher Education Management and Policy, Volume 20 Issue 2

Higher Education and Regional Development

The journal of OECD's Programme on Institutional Management in Higher Education.  This special issue concentrates on higher education and regional development and includes articles on engagement of universities in regional development, innovation and regional development, and case studies from the US, Lapland, North East England, Australia,  and Finland.
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Chapter
 

The Dilemma of the Modern University in Balancing Competitive Agendas

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English
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Author(s):
Bill Lovegrove , John Clark

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The Australian government uses numerous strategies to promote specific agendas – including continued efforts to deregulate the higher education sector. These strategies comprise the reduction of government funding to universities in real terms to oblige institutions to seek alternative sources of income; the targeted deployment of government funding (including growth places and infrastructure funding); the use of reward-based incentives; the actual or threatened re-distribution of funding based on performance; competitive grants; and amending funding mechanisms to support desired behaviours. In addition, strategies not involving direct funding are also used through special policy provisions, the establishment of bodies and forums to promote issues; the publication of position papers and protocols; the publication of performance information or review outcomes; the employment of reporting and accountability processes and frameworks; and various approaches to promote, encourage or oblige sector restructuring. A major thrust of the Australian government's higher education policy is to encourage sector diversification through encouraging individual institutions to adopt their own clear and unique identities. This poses many challenges and opportunities for new generation regional institutions trying to position themselves in an increasingly competitive higher education market while continuing to meet their obligations and remain relevant to their local communities. The University of Southern Queensland's experience in pursuing its vision as a leader in open and flexible higher education is explored within the context of these potentially competing agendas.

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