Launch Workshop for Participating Regions - Abstracts of the presentations

 

Overview of the abstracts  


Higher education in regional development: Lessons learned from the reviews in 2005/07
Presentation by Prof. Emeritus John Goddard

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Impact of University Rankings: Global Excellence vs. Local Engagement
Prof. Ellen Hazelkorn

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Spaces and places for innovation and knowledge exchange

Alastair Blyth

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Regional Self-Evaluation: How did we do it? Case study: North East of England

Helen Pickering

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Full abstracts

 

Higher education in regional development: Lessons learned from the reviews in 2005/07

 

Prof. Em. John Goddard

 

- Abstract –

 

Around the world cities, regions and universities are discovering each other based on a growing appreciation of shared interests.  Drawing on the OECD report, “Higher Education and Regions: Globally Competitive, Locally Engaged” the presentation will explore the drivers behind such engagement from university and city and regional perspectives, the barriers to effective working and how these barriers are being addressed around the world through building new partnerships.   It will also draw out lessons for the design of a new round of OECD evaluations.

 

 

Impact of University Rankings: Global Excellence vs. Local Engagement

 

Prof. Ellen Hazelkorn

 

- Abstract –

 

Globalisation is helping to create a ‘single world market’ in higher education (Marginson, 2006). A feature of this process is the emergence of global university rankings which have taken the practice of accountability, quality assurance and benchmarking to a worldwide level. Today, the Shanghai Jiao Tong Academic Ranking of World Universities and the Times QS Ranking of World Universities are used by governments and HEIs as a measurement of competitiveness and reputation.  An internationalist strategy is imperative not only for governments, but also globally-facing and regionally-focused HEIs. No one is immune. Many HEIs are using rankings to help define targets and set strategic goals. This includes modernising and professionalising their functions and services, boosting research excellence, and participating in global networks. The latter ensures greater global reach, strengthening and maximising institutional capability beyond the capacity of any single institution.


One of the major criticisms of global rankings is that they distort higher education by measuring all HEIs according to the same metrics. They value some research as more important than other research, and fundamentally misunderstand the research/innovation process (Rothwell, 1994). By creating a single definition of world-class excellence, existing rankings are undermining other policy goals, e.g. institutional diversity, widening access and regional engagement. Higher education and policymakers are asking whether it is better to have world-class HEIs or a world-class HE system. In other words, should excellence be concentrated in a small number of institutions or spread across a diverse set of high performing, globally-focused institutions specialising according to relevance and competences? Can high performing globally focused HE system bring greater benefits to the cities and regions than a single world class university?

 

This presentation will outline what we have learned about the impact of global rankings on higher education, and how this experience can be used to build knowledge cities and regions which maximise the expertise and potential of all institutions.

 

 

Spaces and places for innovation and knowledge exchange

 

Alastair Blyth

 

- Abstract –

 

The development of closer links between HEIs and local businesses has implications for managing the facilities, including the buildings and ICT.

The role of spaces and places in supporting the processes of knowledge exchange and innovation is critical. The facilities, buildings and associated infrastructure, can enable or constrain these activities. Important questions include location and proximity to the HEI and business, the amount and type of space and infrastructure needed for effective and co-operative working, who manages it, and how it should be managed to take account of change and sustainability.

These issues may be affected by national, regional and local policies such as development planning and funding.

This presentation will outline these issues and the work that the OECD Programme on Educational Building will be carrying out over the next two years on higher education buildings and facilities. The work will explore how the facilities can be planned and managed to support the processes of knowledge exchange and innovation, and it will explore the relationship with national, regional and local policies.


 

Regional Self-Evaluation: How did we do it? Case study: North East of England

 

Helen Pickering

 

- Abstract -

 

North East of England is one of the nine regions of England, which each have higher education regional associations (HERAs) to promote the role of HEIs in their areas. The associations foster collaboration between HEIs, and build partnerships between higher education and other organisations within their regions. In 2004-2007 the local coordination of the review of higher education in North East of England was carried out by the higher education regional association “ Universities for the Northeast” led by Helen Pickering. Unis4NE outsourced the drafting of the self-evaluation report, organized and facilitated several knowledge sharing and strategy setting meetings between higher education institutions and local and regional stakeholders. It also organized peer review visit meetings and dissemination of the review results at the local, regional and national level. This presentation looks at a number of critical success factors in managing the self-evaluation process, including the review report and capacity building in the context of institutional and intra-regional collaboration and competition.