Current Research & Consultancy
Research Thematics include:
- Steering and governance of Higher Education
- Research and innovation policy and strategy – at national and institutional level
- Differentiation and diversity of institutional forms and professional roles
- Strategic management and leadership of Higher Education Institutions
- Rankings, assessment and international benchmarking of higher education and research performance and quality
- Changes in the academic profession
- Higher Education engagement with its region, and between institutions
Building World-Class Systems of Higher Education: Harnessing Systemness & Delivering Performance– with SUNY (the State University of New York)
Systems of higher education are increasingly dynamic agents of change in the academic landscape. As higher education has become more complex domestically and more engaged globally, the idea of the university as a standalone ivory tower has faded. Today, many colleges and universities operate as part of a multi-campus system. Yet, very little attention has been given to the governance or operation of higher education systems, particularly in a global context.
A major conference is being held during July 2013 (http://global.suny.edu/events/2013systemness.cfm).
Key themes include: Higher Education Systems in Global Perspective; System-to-System Partnerships; System Research Collaboration. And edited book by Jason Lane and Ellen Hazelkorn, published by SUNY Press, will follow.
- Rankings in Institutional Strategies and Processes (RISP)
RISP aims to carry out the first pan-European study on the impact and influence of rankings and similar transparency tools on the development strategies of European universities. RISP will also develop recommendations on how rankings and transparency tools can be used to promote institutional development while identifying ‘potential pitfalls’ that universities should avoid. The project is led by the European University Association (EUA), and is carried out in partnership with the Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), the French Rectors’ Conference (CPU) and the Academic Information Centre (AIC) in Latvia.
- Impact of the Global Economic Crisis on Higher Education
Impact of the Global Economic Crisis on Higher Education aims to add to our knowledge and understanding of institutional change, and to produce in-depth evidence on how the global economic crisis and its aftermath are impacting on and driving change in higher education around the world. The project involves comprehensive case studies of almost 30 higher education institutions around the key themes of sustainability, efficiency, productivity, quality and participation. These themes relate to HEI strategy, finance, quality and work practices. This is the first comprehensive international study and is being undertaken in collaboration with the International Association of Universities (IAU).
- Building Capacity for Structural Reform in Higher Education of Western Balkan Countries
Building Capacity for Structural Reform in Higher Education of WBC aims to strengthen the capacity for the structural reform of higher education in Western Balkan countries in order to facilitate the assimilation of the region into the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) and to ensure full engagement with the Bologna Process. In particular the project seeks to enhance regional cooperation in respect of the development of the higher education sector through the creation of a joint regional roadmap for its reform, which will be benchmarked against best European practice. It is funded by the EU Tempus Programme and led by the University of Novi Sad, Serbia.
- The Impact and Influence of League Tables and Ranking Systems on Higher Education Decision-making and Government Policy-making - in association with OECD/IMHE and IAU
Over the past decade, higher education rankings have become increasingly prevalent in countries around the world. While they have been part of the US HE landscape for decades, the recent frenzy provoked by publication of the Shanghai Jiao tong Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) and Times QS World University Rankings gives an indication of the seriousness which HEIs, policymakers and the media attach to them. Their increasing credibility derives from their simplicity, and the perception that they meet the need for “consumer-type” information of higher education performance and quality. Despite the fact that there are almost 17,000 HEIs worldwide, there is an obsession with the performance of the top 100. However, how much do we know and understand about the influence and impact of rankings on institutional leaders, managers, faculty and students?
To learn more about how rankings are impacting on institutional decision-making, academic behaviour and attitudes, an international survey of HE leaders was conducted in 2006, followed by interviews conducted with HE leaders, academic staff and students in Germany, Australia and Japan during 2008.
Rankings and the Reshaping of Higher Education: The Battle for World-Class Excellence, was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2011.
http://www.palgraveconnect.com/pc/doifinder/10.1057/9780230306394; 2nd edition will be published in paperback in late 2013.
- Measuring the societal impacts of universities' research into arts and the humanities (HERAVALUE) – in association with Dr Paul Benneworth, University of Twente (Netherlands) and Professor Magnus Gulbrandsen, NIFU-STEP (Norway).
The HERAVALUE project aims to explore how arts and humanities research is defined, appreciated and accounted for by multiple stakeholders: researchers, policymakers and civil society. It questions assumptions held by the different constituencies, and compares and contrasts their perceptions and considerations of creative values, creativity and innovation, and impact and benefit. Furthermore, it aims to identify appropriate practices and methodologies to assess and demonstrate quality and value beyond the academy. The key objective is to better understand what really matters rather than what is easily measured. There are five main objectives:To develop a conceptual framework explaining how societal stakeholders, concerned with innovation, actively construct the value placed upon A&HR;
- To systematically uncover the implicit valuations made by key decision-makers underpinning the widespread failure to agree a common approach to valuing A&HR;
- To map key stakeholder groups’ interactions within wider innovation and political systems which frame how A&HR’s value is socially constructed;
- To reflect upon alternative methodologies for valuing A&HR, transcending directly quantifiable outputs and economic impacts, reflecting these implicit valuations;
- To disseminate HERAVALUE’s findings to contribute to designing better policies, instruments and indicators for A&HR valorisation, better contributing to debates concerning A&HR’s wider value in the context of a global economic downturn.
- The Civic University: The leadership and management challenges
This project studies the way in which individual universities have developed processes and structures to strengthen their engagement with civil society. It involves case studies of eight universities in Europe which either describe themselves as civic universities or are in the process of enhancing their civic engagement across a broad front which embraces teaching and research. The focus of the project is on individual institutions rather than territorial development and the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of civic engagement, particularly the, vision and mission, leadership, management and governance, organisation, financial and human resource policies and practises needed to mobilise the academic community to meet the needs of the wider society locally, nationally and globally. The case studies will set each university in its historical, geographical and policy context, examine the drivers and barriers within the university and the social-political environment to civic engagement, and identify how these challenges have been or are being overcome. The project is led by Prof John Goddard, Newcastle University, UK and Prof Ellen Hazelkorn, DIT – with the sponsorship of Newcastle University.