13 Dec 2005
Constructing Advantage in the Knowledge Society
Based on an analysis of policy contexts in several OECD countries, this article examines the rapidly changing policy environment in Japan exemplified by the 2004 transformation of national universities into "incorporated" entities. The role of universities in the knowledge society is examined in light of the emergence of new research and learning systems, conditioned by forces of both globalisation and regionalisation. This historic legal change affects state-university relations in a number of distinctive ways. It is generally assumed that universities will find themselves in a more competitive environment accompanied by cuts in public funding and that there will, therefore, be a growing need to find external sources of funding as well as more efficient and responsive management approaches. The Japanese Government is further opening the higher education system to society and industry, which has resulted in new forms of competition and collaboration among local and global strategic partnerships. The impact of these new relationships can be perceived in four principal dimensions: economy, human resource, governance and community. Based on the conceptual notion of "constructed advantage", this paper highlights spatial knowledge networking capabilities between institutions/agents at local, national and global levels. Universities are formulating new strategies in networking knowledge, whilst future state policy and evaluation mechanisms warrant close investigation.
13 Dec 2005
Changing Research Practices and Research Infrastructure Development
This paper examines changing research practices in the digital environment and draws out implications for the development of research infrastructure. Reviews of the literature, quantitative indicators of research activities and our own field research in Australia suggest that there is a new mode of knowledge production emerging, changing research practices and bringing new information access and dissemination needs. Adjustments will be required to accommodate these changes, but new opportunities are emerging for more cost-effective and sustainable information access and dissemination. To realise these opportunities, however, it will be necessary to take an holistic approach and treat the creation, production and distribution of scholarly information, the management of information rights and access, systems of review and evaluation and the underlying infrastructure as parts of a single research infrastructure and scholarly communication system.
13 Dec 2005
Innovation in the Netherlands
When the objectives of the Lisbon Convention were formulated in 2000, the Dutch Government decided that the Netherlands should give priority to achieving these objectives. In 2010 the Netherlands should be one of the most successful economies in Europe, which should itself be the most competitive knowledge-based economic region in the world. With these objectives in mind, a consortium consisting of the Dutch industry and universities (VNO-NCW and VSNU), the Royal Academy of Science, the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and the Organisation for Applied Research (TNO) encouraged the Government to install an Innovation Platform under the presidency of the Prime Minister. Although the Innovation Platform has had an impressive start, the approach aims mainly at long-term policy issues. In order to promote knowledge transfer between science and industry in the short term, more specific measures must be taken. The Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers (VNO-NCW) and the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU) are working together to formulate guidelines for collaborative projects. The aim of these guidelines is to promote understanding of the differences and similarities in the objectives of science and industry. Similarity in objectives is the starting point for clear principles on such issues as publication, scholarly integrity and financing. These guidelines are not meant as model contracts, but rather to point out important topics and considerations that should be taken into account in individual contracts.
13 Dec 2005
The Shift of the University Paradigm and Reform of the Korean University Systems
The 21st century society is characterised as a knowledge-based society, education mobility society, and cyber schooling society. This new paradigm of university enables us to restructure the university system in Korea. To establish an efficient and competitive education system, it is essential to change the current university system. Restructuring of universities should concentrate on reform of academic administration and of management system. The strategy for management innovation can be summarised as finding the balance between 1) tradition and renovation 2) specialisation and diversification 3) quantity and quality development 4) domestic and international dimensions.
13 Dec 2005
Civic Mission and Social Responsibility
What is the civic mission of the research university in a modern society? How does it challenge the Public Relations professionals of universities? The Finnish Higher Education Evaluation Council, a specialist organ of the Ministry of Education, has conducted several university evaluations with special emphasis on the regional role of Finnish universities. In February 2004, the Finnish university legislation was changed to include the civic mission as the third basic function of the universities, parallel to research and teaching. This change can be seen as both a challenge and a recognition of the PR professionals of Finnish universities. This article intends to clarify the concept of the civic mission, and to find eventual connections to and similarities with the concept of corporate social responsibility.
13 Dec 2005
Institutional Management and Engagement with the Knowledge Society
The article will argue that external engagement with business and the community poses major challenges for the institutional management of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). The world outside of academia, in business, central and local government, health, welfare and the cultural and community sectors increasingly expect an institutional as distinct from individual academic response to the challenges and opportunities for HEIs in their respective domains. Nowhere is this more apparent than at the city and regional scale where HEIs have the potential through their teaching and research to play a leading role in joining up the separate strands of development policy – such as innovation, skills, social inclusion – and providing a key link between the global and the local. But realising this external role requires strong institutional leadership and internal integration.
The article addresses these issues by reference to policy and practice particularly in relation to knowledge exploitation in Finland and the United Kingdom.
13 Dec 2005
Choice and Responsibility
In this keynote address to the 2004 IMHE General Conference in Paris, the author tried to lay out the profound changes that are taking place in society. These changes give rise to a new context in which institutions have to make decisions. Three principle elements characterise the new context: a rightward shift in political thinking, an intensification of competition, a more central role for knowledge in generating innovations. In terms of policy, universities are now encouraged to reduce their dependence on government funding, to regard themselves as providing a wider range of educational services, and to be global players in research. In this context, intensifying competition often operates according to static and dynamic modes simultaneously. Dynamic competition has given rise to a number of collaborative arrangements. And if universities are to prosper, they have little choice but to engage with others in developing and introducing new modes and models of teaching and research.