14th HER Information
26-28, September 2017
Research Institute for Higher Education (RIHE)
This 14th workshop (HER2017) will provide an opportunity for comparative analysis and discussion of the following and related issues with an emphasis on policies and reforms of postsecondary (higher) education.
The workshop format has been chosen to encourage and facilitate a frank exchange in a collegial environment of views based on empirical research and (comparative) policy analysis.
We invite contributions dealing with the above themes. Although the following list does not cover the entire breadth of themes, it provides examples of topics and issues to be addressed:
Over the last two decades, how and why have public policies redefined or changed the missions of universities and other HE institutions? Does an increased differentiation within HE systems mean a redefinition of missions as well as types of governance?
What purpose do data on performance serve? How do we understand and assess performance and productivity in relation to the different missions and different types of HE institutions? In the face of new and multiple missions, how can traditional values be maintained and possibly reinvigorated?
Is an emphasis of performance and productivity just a mechanism of control by governments and non-public sponsors or is it important to the institutions themselves, as some of them are competing for reputation, funding and good faculty and students?
What are the implications for pedagogy in higher education of these types of indicators?
The growing pressure on universities and other HE institutions to demonstrate good performance and high productivity in spite of decreasing public funding ("doing more with less") ? is it compatible with the core missions of universities?
Is accountability compatible with "academic freedom" ? i.e., given that the freedom and responsibility of professors to determine what they research and what and how they teach are traditionally at the core of universitiesmissions?
Can the universities' core missions (creation, analysis and transmission of knowledge) be accomplished without academic freedom, and is the contention by many analysts ? that accountability vs. academic freedom creates one of the most basic conflicts of universities with society ? supported by real evidence?
Are there other forms of "accountability" besides performance indicators and productivity measurement? How can "performance" and "productivity" in teaching, learning and research be properly defined?
Do formal governance reforms (or structural changes in the governance) really matter, since most important decisions made in the university occur outside the formal decision-making system?
By gaining mass, how do universities find economies of scale and rationalise the use of resources in spite of the cost necessary for the merger process? How do collaborating institutions successfully change their culture so that they may profit from their collaboration and enhance their productivity?
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