The themes


We chose the following five themes as the basis of the summer school. We believed these themes to be of central importance in understanding the developments in Higher Education. Each of these themes was presented by a distinguished scholar.

The stake holder society
Prof. Guy Neave, director of research at CHEPS and IAU, the Netherlands and France)

This theme was a general introduction to some of the new challenges that higher education faces. Due to processes of individualisation, the rise of network/ knowledge economies, the retreat of the state etc higher education institutions are no longer solely accountable to government but are in a constant dialogue with their stakeholders in society. As a consequence higher education institutions are facing growing heterogeneity and unpredictability.

This raises questions like:

  • How can these changes be conceptualised?
  • How should higher education institutions organise themselves?
  • How can accountability be arranged in a stakeholder society?"

Modes of co-ordination
Prof. Lyn Meek, director of CHEMP, Australia

Across countries, marked differences can be observed in the degree to which changes in modes of co-ordination have taken place. The steering 'models' seem to take a path that can be typified as "from state control to state supervision to market co-ordination". Some nations have moved clearly toward the market model. Others are content to abide by the sovereign state and the 'corporate state' model.

Relevant questions here are:

  • What are the strategic considerations that have reshaped theories of steering and control?
  • What are the consequences of changes in modes of co-ordination for the legitimacy, effectiveness and efficiency of governmental policy making?

Globalisation and internationalisation
Prof. Peter Scott, Vice-Chancellor of Kingston University, United Kingdom

With the growth of the European Community the supra-national and international levels of decision-making have began to assume an important role in the co-ordination of the higher education systems in Europe. Member States have undertaken a number of initiatives, which may be seen as complementary to those of the European Union (e.g. Sorbonne and Bologna Declarations). These developments may indicate trends towards structural harmonisation.

Questions that may be asked include:

  • Which new stakeholders, structures and modes of co-ordination come into existence?
  • Which targets, of governmental policies, are affected mostly by the 'new architecture'?
  • Why do some Member States react faster, or do so in ways, which differ from other countries?

Strategies for the adaptive university
Prof. Nico Cloete, director of CHET, South Africa

For institutions to operate effectively in the turbulent, uncertain and increasingly volatile environment, the capacity to adapt is essential. The following questions are relevant here:

  • What organisational change strategies can be identified in higher education organisations?
  • How have these change strategies been developed?
  • What role do environmental institutions, external stakeholders and internal actors play in the development process of these change strategies?
  • What are the effects of the change strategies?

New technologies, new providers and new products
By Prof. Sheldon Rothblatt, University of California at Berkeley, USA)

It is to a large extent ICT that underlies globalisation and is responsible for our new thinking about instruction and research. ICT is not only a driver of change - it is also an enabler of change. It allows providers to accommodate to the students' individual preferences in terms of mode, pace, place, and time of study.

This raises questions like:

  • How will the knowledge economy, globalisation and ICT applications affect traditional and new providers of higher education?
  • Which organisational responses can be observed?
  • How will the interaction between administration and academia be affected by the challenge of managing change and encouraging innovation?