You are here: Home Knowledge Base Economy Redefining Universities Solutions Governments should stimulate institutional diversity and make excellence beyond research visible, for example, through multidimensional rankings.
Symposium 2012

Solution for Redefining Universities

The Challenge

There are two big trends in higher education: "individualization" and "massification." The former is important mainly in developed countries whereas the latter takes places mainly in developing countr ...

There are two big trends in higher education: "individualization" and "massification." The former is important mainly in developed countries whereas the latter takes places mainly in developing countries. Yet distinctions between the systems of developed and developing countries cannot be sharply drawn: on the one hand, outstanding students from developing countries want individualized education; and on the other hand, aspiring students from developed countries want good value for money (which means massification).

Governments should stimulate institutional diversity and make excellence beyond research visible, for example, through multidimensional rankings.

The relevance and excellence of universities are not only determined by their research output: they have to be understood and assessed multidimensionally. Universities have to define their institutional profiles clearly to satisfy different needs. A university should be successful not only in research but also in regional development, teaching, continuing education and/or by focusing on a very specific teaching mode or target group.

Policy-makers should appreciate different kinds of excellence in universities. Overcoming the deep-rooted reputation-seeking "academic drift" towards a first class research institution urgently requires suitable incentive systems, for example, substantial initiatives in teaching or university–industry cooperation and correspondingly flexible funding schemes.

Not the very least, institutional diversity can be stimulated by multidimensional rankings based on diverse criteria (for example, teaching and learning, research, knowledge transfer, international orientation, regional engagement, social responsibility, etc.). This kind of horizontal differentiation makes various profiles visible but still allows for vertical performance differentiation within a certain type of higher education institutions.

    Related Solutions

    Solution
    Symposium 2012

    Governments and other funding agencies need to build an evidence base on how online or blended learning and modularization affects learning, progression and drop-out rates.

    Governments and other funding agencies need to build an evidence base on how online or blended learning and modularization affects learning, progression and drop-out rates.

    Governments and other funding agencies need to build an evidence base on how online or blended learning and modularization affects learning, progression and drop-out rates.

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society
    Solution
    Symposium 2012

    Governments, higher-education institutions and scholarship providers need to experiment with new funding models for higher education to give access to quality education to students who can pay little or nothing—for ...

    Governments, higher-education institutions and scholarship providers need to experiment with new funding models for higher education to give access to quality education to students who can pay little ...

    Governments, higher-education institutions and scholarship providers need to experiment with new funding models for higher education to give access to quality education to students who can pay little or nothing—for example, by charging for certification, examination processing, learning support or online internships, rather than for content and its delivery.

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society
    Solution
    Symposium 2012

    Governments should develop standardized certification of student learning outcomes at the individual course level, thus ensuring transferability and transparency of courses and modules on a global scale.

    Governments should develop standardized certification of student learning outcomes at the individual course level, thus ensuring transferability and transparency of courses and modules on a global scale.

    Governments should develop standardized certification of student learning outcomes at the individual course level, thus ensuring transferability and transparency of courses and modules on a global scale.

    Polity, Academia
    Solution
    Symposium 2012

    Refocus institutional accreditation on criteria that really matter: efficient quality control and appropriate learning outcomes.

    Refocus institutional accreditation on criteria that really matter: efficient quality control and appropriate learning outcomes.

    Refocus institutional accreditation on criteria that really matter: efficient quality control and appropriate learning outcomes.

    Polity, Academia