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MLW 1: Systems Thinking for Foresight: The Case of Romanian Higher Education System Susana Elena-Pérez Knowledge for Growth.

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Presentation on theme: "MLW 1: Systems Thinking for Foresight: The Case of Romanian Higher Education System Susana Elena-Pérez Knowledge for Growth."— Presentation transcript:

1 MLW 1: Systems Thinking for Foresight: The Case of Romanian Higher Education System Susana Elena-Pérez Knowledge for Growth Unit Institute for Prospective and Technological Studies 24 September 2009 Research Policy Measures for Universities in Europe: common trends and challenges

2 MLW 1: Systems Thinking for Foresight: The Case of Romanian Higher Education System Based on Two ERAWATCH Reports (http://cordis.europa.eu/erawatch/): Research in Universities: Changes and challenges Reform of the Public Research Base in Europe Mutual learning exercise: CREST Working Group on mutual learning on approaches to improve the excellence of research universities

3 MLW 1: Systems Thinking for Foresight: The Case of Romanian Higher Education System External drivers: Policy drivers Competition drivers Drivers of the reform policy in universities Bologna process & European Research Area (ERA) development New public management principles Increasing competition in the global knowledge system Stagnation in student enrolment Changes in universities mainly driven by external forces: reactive behaviour of universities

4 MLW 1: Systems Thinking for Foresight: The Case of Romanian Higher Education System Common emerging trends in Europe A. Increasing institutional autonomy and accountability B. Changing funding models and using performance agreements C. Promoting centres of excellence D. Fostering collaboration with business E. Making academic careers more attractive Since 2000 there has been intensive reform activity across Europe. Although uneven, it is possible to identify common trends:

5 MLW 1: Systems Thinking for Foresight: The Case of Romanian Higher Education System A. Increasing institutional autonomy and accountability Common key element: provide universities more autonomy to allocate resources and define strategic plans. Main instrument: national legislation to reform the Higher Education (HE) sector. As a counterpart: more accountability is required. Recent examples in: AT, DK, FI, FR and ES.

6 MLW 1: Systems Thinking for Foresight: The Case of Romanian Higher Education System Most countries have a dual funding system: B. Changing funding models & using performance agreements Block grant (teaching & research; based on fixed criteria). Competitive funding (only research; specific projects and programmes). Increase of competitive funding is a clear policy trend. New performance agreements linking funding to research outcomes (AT, ES). Creation of national and regional accreditation agencies (DK, ES, PT).

7 MLW 1: Systems Thinking for Foresight: The Case of Romanian Higher Education System C. Promoting centres of excellence General agreement on the importance of promoting outstanding research (centres of excellence). But how? Different countries, different approaches: Supporting teams of excellence in basic research and collaboration between different linguistic communities (BE). Training young researchers (CZ, DE). Supporting scientific excellence in strategic areas (EE, FI, IT).

8 MLW 1: Systems Thinking for Foresight: The Case of Romanian Higher Education System D. Fostering collaboration with business Different measures: Funding for joint research projects (universities + firms). Creation of joint research laboratories and units. Promoting knowledge transfer and commercialisation of research results. Legislative and financial support for creation of spin-offs. Incentives to increase business investment in university research. Mobility of human resources between both sectors.

9 MLW 1: Systems Thinking for Foresight: The Case of Romanian Higher Education System E. Making academic careers more attractive Widespread acknowledgement of the importance of encouraging researchers careers. But… Research careers are still shaped by national standards (recruitment, salaries, tenure, promotion prospects). Only few EU countries have introduced changes in the professional status of the researchers and other incentives (FR, DE, DK, NL, ES). Performance-related pay only in few countries (DE, ES, IE).

10 MLW 1: Systems Thinking for Foresight: The Case of Romanian Higher Education System Some issues to reflect on More autonomous and accountable universities, new funding models, more incentives to do outstanding research, to better link with business and to make academic careers more attractive. Although there is no a European university system, there are common key features in national policy reforms.

11 MLW 1: Systems Thinking for Foresight: The Case of Romanian Higher Education System Some issues to reflect on Key feature in most EU25 policy reforms: allow or encourage universities to elaborate strategies autonomously and to allocate resources. Managerial instruments are increasingly used. But while strategic plans are widespread, research strategies are implemented only in some universities.

12 MLW 1: Systems Thinking for Foresight: The Case of Romanian Higher Education System Some issues to reflect on The process of reform appears to be uneven. Reforms not at the same stage in all European countries. Different countries, different policy mixes. Changes in legislation are necessary but not sufficient to change the HE landscape in Europe. Real autonomy and accountability cannot be effectively implemented without rethinking the university governance system and changing universities organisational culture.

13 MLW 1: Systems Thinking for Foresight: The Case of Romanian Higher Education System Mutual Learning Exercise CREST Working Group on mutual learning on approaches to improve the excellence of research universities (February March 2009) Aim: mapping national strategies to improve quality/excellence in research and share good practices. Two topics: (1) General strategies, models and instruments (2) Funding approaches and research assessment There is a common ground regarding policies to promote quality in research.

14 MLW 1: Systems Thinking for Foresight: The Case of Romanian Higher Education System Key findings: topic 1 Typology of national strategies to improve quality/excellence in research: Capacity building, focusing on infrastructures, young researchers and career development. Competition and autonomy, based on incentives, quality management systems, evaluation and peer review. Prioritization of research groups and fields, concentrating funds to specific universities, centres of excellences or areas or research.

15 MLW 1: Systems Thinking for Foresight: The Case of Romanian Higher Education System Types of strategies / Target groups TYPE A: Capacity Building TYPE B: Competition & Autonomy TYPE C: Prioritisation of research groups & fields Individuals Human capacity building of young researchers Systems of quality management, evaluation, peer review in research Individual research grants from state research councils Research Groups Funding programmes for linking research groups/researchers to industry Promotion of internationally organised research Policies to ensure application of research results Institutions Set-up of liaison commercialisation offices at the universities Legal framework: Autonomy of HEIs to decide their own priorities Introduction of Strategic Research Areas of particular potential or importance Key findings: topic 1

16 MLW 1: Systems Thinking for Foresight: The Case of Romanian Higher Education System Funding has been stated as critical, if not the most important, instrument for the promotion of research excellence. Related issues: Financial autonomy Balance between basic and competitive funds Greater transparency Diversity of source of funds There is not a single financial instrument fulfilling all the requirements. A multi-instrument approach of public funding combining core institutional funding with competitive project-base funding is normally in place. Key findings: topic 2

17 MLW 1: Systems Thinking for Foresight: The Case of Romanian Higher Education System Research assessment is consider a key element for funding, accountability and transparency. It should support institutional decision making. Great variety of assessment methods were identified with some common trends: greater use of peer-review methods output-oriented methods preferred to input or process methods indicators based assessment is growing importance Key findings: topic 2

18 MLW 1: Systems Thinking for Foresight: The Case of Romanian Higher Education System Main recommendations: topic 1 The research strategy should be based on a mixture of top- down and bottom-up impulses. It should ensure the efficiency, consistency and co-ordination of top-down policies and incorporate more creative and decentralised initiatives (bottom-up) promoting a broader acceptance of the policies. General Strategies and Instruments:

19 MLW 1: Systems Thinking for Foresight: The Case of Romanian Higher Education System Main recommendations: topic 2 An advisable funding model for universities could combine: i) stable, core institutional funding ensuring scientific autonomy and a broad coverage of disciplines; ii) a performance-oriented formula, providing ex-post rewards for good performance based on agreed objectives; and iii) an innovation-oriented component. Funding Approaches:

20 MLW 1: Systems Thinking for Foresight: The Case of Romanian Higher Education System Main recommendations: topic 2 Peer review and indicator based assessment could be combined to avoid disadvantages associated with the use one single instrument. Development agreements could be considered a good practice. It promotes dialogue and transparency of goals, strategy and results. The choice of indicators for research assessment should reflect the specific goals of the system and of the stakeholders. Indicator should be internationally recognised and reliable. Research assessment:

21 MLW 1: Systems Thinking for Foresight: The Case of Romanian Higher Education System Future avenues of research It is necessary to provide analysis at institutional level. Future effort to collect information of an important number of research-active universities across Europe. This will allow to characterise, monitor and analyse the research activity of universities.

22 MLW 1: Systems Thinking for Foresight: The Case of Romanian Higher Education System Thank you!


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