The Research Institute for Higher
Education, Hiroshima University was delighted to host the 14th
International Workshop on Higher Education Reform (HER 2017).
Welcome to 14th HER
ENHANCING PERFORMANCE AND PRODUCTIVITY IN HIGHER EDUCATION
Universities are under pressure from
different sides: Governments demand evidence for productivity
and performance in exchange for the public funds universities
receive. Employers demand that teaching be workplace relevant
and for research to be useful and capable of commercial
exploitation. Students want their degrees to enhance their
employment prospects. At the same time, there are expectations
for universities to expand their missions, for example by
opening up to more underrepresented groups and engaging in
service to their local communities.
While the higher education (HE)
sector has been expanding in all developed countries, at the
same time governments have imposed on universities an
obligation "to do more with less". They require universities
to demonstrate accountability and transparency by providing
detailed data about what they do and what "impact" their
research has had, how many students have graduated and to
what extent they are finding employment in their field of
study or related fields. Governments want especially
universities to demonstrate that they are competitive with
other universities both in their own country and
internationally. As universities are encouraged by
governments to seek funding from other than public sources,
private sponsors likewise ask for proof that resources are
being used efficiently and for the purpose for which they
have been provided. In addition, in some countries,
institutional governance reforms and various types of
collaboration among universities (including mergers) are
actively sought for enhanced efficiency and productivity.
It is primarily through public
policies that this evolution in the context of HE has been
occurring. The focus of this workshop is, as in former
workshops, on these public policies and the underlying
reasons for their evolution, as well as with their
implementation and evaluation.
International workshops on Higher
Education Reform (HER) have taken place annually since 2003,
when the first in this series was held in Vancouver, Canada,
organised by the Centre for Policy Studies in Higher
Education and Training. In following years workshops took
place in Tokyo (Japan), Shanghai and Tianjin (China), St.
Johns, Newfoundland and again Vancouver (Canada), Vienna
(Austria), Berlin (Germany), Ljubljana (Slovenia) and, most
recently in 2016, Dublin (Ireland).
This year's HER workshop will be
organised by the Research Institute for Higher Education
(RIHE) of Hiroshima University. As in previous workshops, it
will bring together HE researchers and policy analysts from
different countries and HE systems who will present and
discuss their research and analyses with respect to this
year's workshop theme.