Learning to Compete in European Universities

Learning to Compete in European Universities

From Social Institution to Knowledge Business

Edited by Maureen McKelvey and Magnus Holmén

This book addresses the critical issue of how and why European universities are changing and learning to compete. Anglo-Saxon universities particularly in the US, the UK and Australia have long been subject to, and responded to, market-based competition in higher education. The authors argue that Continental and Nordic universities and higher education institutes are now facing similar pressures that are leading to a structural transformation of the university sector.

Chapter 2: Exploring University Alliances and Comparable Academic Cooperation Structures

Enrico Deiaco, Ana M. Gren and Göran Melin

Subjects: business and management, knowledge management, innovation and technology, knowledge management

Extract

Enrico Deiaco, Ana M. Gren and Göran Melin 1. INTRODUCTION Institutions of higher education have historically been characterized by a trend towards expansion (Trow, 2005). Although new sources of research funding are constantly appearing, there are also more players who want a share of available funds, thus creating a competitive environment for the available resources. This is an international phenomenon that is particularly evident in some national academic systems where universities lack their own sources of capital and fixed assets, and where alternative sources of funding besides the state budget funds are limited (Neave et al., 2006). The forces behind this development are familiar within the academic sector in the United States, where the phenomenon has been studied by a number of researchers who conclude that it is evident that competition is on the increase – for students, for academic staff members, as well as in terms of financing resources (Trow, 1996; Clark, 1998; Florida, 2002). Moreover, this tendency is also on the increase within the international academic arena (Castells, 1996, 1997, 1998). In Europe, the Processes of Bologna and Lisbon combined with the creation of the European Research Council, and the European Technology Platforms can be considered as signs of the ongoing changes of the structure of the academic sector. The formation of these processes will most likely strengthen the incentives for collaboration and differentiation that exists today within the European Union. According to Harman and Meek (2002) and Georghiou and Duncan (2002), university alliances and partnerships, even...

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