05 May 2003
The management of change in higher education
This paper is the text of the opening speech which the author delivered at the 2002 IMHE General Conference on the theme of "Incentives and Accountability: Instruments of Change in Higher Education" which was held at OECD headquarters in Paris on 16-18 September 2002.
05 May 2003
Incentives and Accountability
Observers have frequently pointed to a lack of openness in French universities and university institutions, but I may say that for several years now French universities, and more generally the entire higher education system in France, have been engaged in efforts to make the process more open in all respects.
The institutions of French higher education are moving towards increasing autonomy. I shall seek, in this article, to show that the French system is equipped with a number of incentive mechanisms. These are both collective, institutions having the opportunity to generate their own resources, and also individual, taking the form of personal bonuses. In the same way, universities are subject to much more frequent monitoring than is thought, which could lead to elements of a system of evaluation. But the oversight that the French Government has over public higher education and research institutions is both excessive and inadequate: it is finicky and poorly targeted and therefore badly organised and ineffective from the point of view of meeting society’s legitimate expectations. The idea I should like to promote is in fact quite simple: it is by making institutions more accountable by actually increasing their autonomy that we shall promote incentive systems both for individuals and for institutions and that we shall impose an effective method of evaluation – the only ways of ensuring real change at the heart of our system of higher education and research. Incentive systems are needed to motivate people, institutions need increased autonomy if their action is to be more effective and a real system of evaluation is needed to ensure management and decision-making accountability for partners and to assess the ability of institutions to achieve the strategic objectives they have set themselves
05 May 2003
Over the past few years, the debate on the future of higher education in Brazil has been by and large split into two camps. One side stresses the urgent need to broaden the system, to allow a growing number of Brazilians to gain qualifications and enter an increasingly competitive and international labour market as skilled workers. This is the view behind the significant expansion of private higher education in Brazil over the past decade. The other side does not disregard the problems of public higher education, or the demands of thousands of young people deprived of a university education, but holds that the expansion of higher education should be based on the conclusions of the 1998 World Conference on Higher Education in Paris. Rather than setting public against private education, this approach envisages the growth of the system as a whole, on the premise that education is a strategic asset for national development, a universal right and one of the duties of any State.
05 May 2003
Ministerial Steering and Institutional Responses
As part of the public sector reform, Finland reformulated its higher education policy in the late 1980s. It also included a profound reform of the government policy implementation instruments within the university system. As a result, a steering model based on the regulation of results instead of inputs was built up, and the autonomy of traditionally heavily regulated universities was increased. The planning and budgeting dialogue between the Ministry of Education and universities was simplified, and the system of performance negotiations and agreements was established. Also, a funding formula, based first on institutional goals agreed upon in the performance agreements, and later, to an increasing degree, on outputs, was established. The new steering model was implemented in the situation, which was characterised by comprehensive linking of Finnish higher education policy to economic and industrial development policies and the information society policy, in particular. The universities have been faced with a challenge of improving their management capacity to be effective in their responses to the new governmental steering and to the changing policy environment, in general.
The paper is based in two ongoing empirical studies by the authors, one about the change of the governmental steering instruments from the mid-80s to the present time and the other about the institutional reactions to the present steering-by-results model. The theoretical basis for the paper is provided by the theories of institutional governance.
05 May 2003
Management mechanisms and financing of higher education in Germany
The higher education sector has to face competition much in the same way as other economic entities do. Much has been done to introduce reforms making use of economic terms and concepts. This paper will highlight the manner in which different models for financing higher education can contribute to the management of higher education.
The general higher education framework in Germany -- which differs from that in other countries -- has to be taken into account. Amongst these differences are notably:
-- the absence of fees as an instrument for the financing and management of higher education;
-- the fact that only a restricted number of students are selected by institutions of higher education. Where student numbers for subjects in great demand are too high, applicants are distributed amongst various universities by a central office.
This paper is divided into four part: (1) an analysis of the German higher education system,: (2) an examination of different management methods relating to a new system of distributing students amongst the different types of institutions (ordinary universities and universities of applied sciences -- Fachhochschulen). A discussion of the management of student distribution within a given university follows. (3) In this context, it is recommended to introduce a market-oriented system of tuition fees instead of making provisions for student admission on the basis of available capacity, curricular standards (CNW) and centralized procedures of the distribution of students; (4) conclusions are drawn from these reforms in order to develop systems for performance analysis (management accounting and control).
05 May 2003
Sticks and Carrots
This article will look at some of the key objectives of Government policy in the UK over the last 20 years, including increasing efficiency and accountability, expansion of student numbers, selectivity in research funding, regionalisation, widening participation, wealth creation and increasing contributions to the quality of life, and at the various measures used to implement such policy. It will contrast the use of "sticks" (i.e. incentives to deliver desired outcomes), and will consider which have been more successful in achieving the goals of Government policy.
The article will also address the implications of such tools of policy on the freedom and autonomy of individual institutions and on diversity within the higher education system. It will consider the role of Government policy in shaping higher education, as compared with other forces for change, including shifting patterns of student demand, rapid developments in technology and methods of learning, new patterns of research and innovation, and the internationalisation of higher education.
05 May 2003
University Research Activities
In times when excellence is at the top of the research agenda of all research and innovation policies, especially in Europe, research universities are the implicit reference model of most policy makers and most public debates. However, the implications, that is a major geographical concentration of public means and the existence of a dual system of training, are rarely highlighted; it is on the contrary, often when there are references to "cohesion". This paper suggests that, although this trend is clearly visible, the situation is more complex. In particular, the analysis overlooks another central role of universities: they have also become the main proximity knowledge provider. Both trends combine and result in radical transformation of university organisation – the separation of teaching departments from research structures, may these be called groups, units, centres, institutes or laboratories. This leads to question whether their present organisation is relevant to the socio-economic environment: I argue that the very fast increase of not-for-profit associations/foundations closely linked to universities are a lasting and promising feature of the university-society connection. These changes call for more study of university governance, certainly a pressing issue in countries like France.