22 jui 2002
Engine of change or adherence to trends? An inventory of views
The purpose of this article is to assess the interaction between higher education and societal development. The question addressed is whether higher education engineers societal change or adjusts to global requirements. The answer is both. However, the impact of higher education is not easy to measure. It depends on the interventions undertaken by the stakeholders: the university, government, private sector, and civil society. These interventions may have contradictory effects. Education based on students’ desires can create highly skilled people who may not be required by society. The societal requirements of government, the private sector, or civil society may conflict. These conflicting requirements particularly can become conspicuous when higher education institutions perform in a global network.
22 jui 2002
Accreditation and Quality Assurance
Accreditation and quality assurance at universities have gained new meaning in Switzerland – as in other European nations – through the concurrent increase in autonomy, new educational institutions offering international courses and the implementation of the Bologna Declaration. With respect to these developments the Swiss government together with the university cantons agreed to jointly establish an Accreditation and Quality Assurance Board which would be responsible not only for accreditation questions, but also for quality assurance and quality promotion at the universities.
The discussions surrounding the creation of an institution, which critically examines quality in the area of higher education, provoked a controversial debate in Switzerland. However, after several months of intensive discussions between universities and political bodies (government and administration) the different points of view eventually led to a model that today enjoys the broad support of all of the parties involved. This model has the following advantages: It focuses not only on accreditation i.e. fulfilling of minimum standards, but also on implementation of quality assurance mechanisms to guarantee sustainable quality development at universities and it provides accreditation for institutions as well as programs.
22 jui 2002
The Future of the Tripartite Mission
Despite variation across national contexts, university-clinical partners in any country have similar aims. These are to deliver world-class research, education and health care services, and there are similar tensions.. Health and higher education partners face two central paradoxes: that they are interdependent (require each other to discharge their mission) and independent (managed according to different priorities). Also, partners struggle to balance the demands of two masters (health and education) whose priorities are difficult to square. Traditional ways of organising partnerships are challenged everywhere by the global change in clinical provision, education and research. Despite pressures on its organisational form, the tripartite mission remains a vital pursuit. The way it is achieved needs to be re-examined.
Introducing evidence-based practice and service innovation, translating research into practice, managing a growing knowledge base, and developing new forms of working each require a tripartite approach. Partnerships are not necessarily focused on synergy between missions, meaning the integration of component parts to produce an effect that is greater than the sum of its parts.
This report draws on discussions with leaders of organisations at the interface of health and university sectors on the current and future direction of relationships between service, research and education. It outlines some challenges for those managing the tripartite mission and suggestions for ways to approach these.
22 jui 2002
Academic Leaders or Corporate Managers
This article explores the changing roles and personal characteristics of deans of faculties and heads of academic departments in Australian higher education institutions over a twenty-year period from 1977 to 1997. While deans and heads continued to be academics with superior qualifications and impressive research achievements, the gap between the research records of deans/heads and other academics narrowed between 1977 and 1997 but the gap between deans/heads and professors widened. Deans/heads in 1997 were somewhat less likely than in 1977 to have been professors or associate professors. Work patterns of deans/heads and other academics remained remarkably stable between 1977 and 1997, except that for both works hours per week increased. However, interest by both deans/heads and other academics in administration and committee work declined sharply between 1977 and 1997.
22 jui 2002
Transformation of Universities in the Czech Republic
The position of Czech universities at the beginning of the last decade of the 20th century is briefly described and specific features are emphasized. The academic staff was faced with new challenges as new developments in Czech society took place. Participation in different international programmes and opportunities to obtain relevant information about trends in higher education in Europe and the world have been of crucial importance. This assistance together with changes in home legislation has accelerated the transformation process in Czech higher education.
The main part of this paper is an attempt to summarize the response of the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen (UWB) to the outside world as shown in its development plan. Using UWB as an example of a medium-sized university, the paper describes the process of analysing this university’s potential and its external environment, which led to the formulation of the university’s development plan. In implementing this plan the main aim is to change the attitudes of the staff (both academic and non-academic). Positive results and barriers yet to be overcome are presented.
22 jui 2002
Reform in a Fragmented System
The 1992-95 war in Bosnia-Herzegovina created deep ethnic divisions in alreadyfragmented university structures, where individual faculties possessed considerable academic and financial independence. The faculties, in turn, in the Humboldtian tradition, were composed of semi-autonomous "chairs" and institutes. This level of the organisation had gained added autonomy in the Communist period from the distinctive Yugoslav "self-management" principle, intended to empower operating units. This fragmentation at institutional level is compounded in present-day Bosnia-Herzegovina by the absence of any effective national-level planning and control of higher education.
Post-war reform efforts by international agencies have addressed some of the problems of this fragmented structure. But they have not taken sufficient account of the differences between the academic principles on which the universities of Bosnia-Herzegovina are founded and those of the Anglo-American tradition, from which models of managerial reform are typically taken. Through a better understanding of the universities’ long-established organisational frameworks, it may be possible for aid projects to help achieve enhanced institutional managerial effectiveness and to reverse some of the more damaging effects of multi-level fragmentation.
22 jui 2002
As the Welsh Assembly follows Scotland in reinstating (to some degree) student means-tested grants, it is timely to consider Nicholas Barr,
The Welfare State as Piggy Bank. Barr looks at social insurance and pensions before tackling education, where he argues for State provision in relation to schools but Market provision for tertiary education: students are "impressively well-informed – a savvy, streetwise consumer group" and hence "students are more capable than central planners of making choices that conform with their own needs and those of the economy"...