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Higher Education Management and Policy

Institutional Management in Higher Education

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Previously published as Higher Education Management, Higher Education Management and Policy (HEMP) is published three times each year and is edited by the OECD’s Programme on Institutional Management in Higher Education. It covers the field through articles and reports on such issues as quality assurance, human resources, funding, and internationalisation. It also is a source of information on activities and events organised by OECD’s IMHE Programme.

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Keywords: university, policy, administration, institutional, higher, education, practical, practice, management, policies, tertiary

The knowledge economy and higher education: Rankings and classifications, research metrics and learning outcomes measures as a system for regulating the value of knowledge

Institutional Management in Higher Education

This paper describes the global knowledge economy (the k-economy), comprised by (1) open source knowledge flows and (2) commercial markets in intellectual property and knowledge-intensive goods. Like all economy the global knowledge economy is a site of production. It is also social and cultural, taking the form of a one-world community mediated by the Internet.



The k-economy has developed with extraordinary rapidity, particularly the open source component; which, consistent with the economic character of knowledge as a public good, appears larger than the commercial intellectual property component. But how do the chaotic open source flows of knowledge, with no evident tendency towards predictability let alone towards equilibrium, become reconciled with a world of governments, economic markets, national and university hierarchies, and institutions that routinely require stability and control in order to function?



The article argues that in the k-economy, knowledge flows are vectored by a system of status production that assigns unequal values to knowledge and arranges it in ordered patterns. The new system for regulating the value of public good knowledge includes institutional league tables, research rankings, publication and citation metrics, journal hierarchies, and other comparative output measures such as outcomes of student learning.



Cet article décrit l’économie globale de la connaissance (la « k-economy »), qui comprend (1) les flux de connaissances de source ouverte et (2) les marchés de la propriété intellectuelle et des biens à forte intensité de connaissances.



Comme toute économie, l’économie globale de la connaissance représente un site de production. Elle est aussi sociale et culturelle, prenant la forme d’une communauté mondiale unique fondée sur l’Internet. L’économie de la connaissance s’est développée à une vitesse extraordinaire, en particulier la composante source ouverte, qui, en raison du caractère économique de la connaissance en tant que bien public, semble occuper une place plus importante que la composante propriété intellectuelle commerciale.



Mais comment les flux chaotiques de connaissances de source ouverte, qui de toute évidence ne tendent pas vers plus de prévisibilité et encore moins vers un quelconque équilibre, peuvent-ils être conciliés avec un monde fait de gouvernements, de marchés économiques, de hiérarchies nationales et universitaires, et d’institutions qui exige stabilité et contrôle pour fonctionner ?



Cet article soutient que dans l’économie de la connaissance, les flux de connaissances sont orchestrés par un système de production de statuts qui assigne des valeurs inégales au savoir et l’organise en schémas ordonnés. Le nouveau système de régulation de la valeur de la connaissance en tant que bien public inclut les tableaux de classement institutionnel, les classements de recherche, les métriques de publication et de citation, les hiérarchies au sein de la presse, et d’autres mesures comparatives de rendement, tels que les résultats d’apprentissage.

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