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University governance and management in the UK and elsewhere: issues of quality assurance and accountability Terri Kim Brunel University UK Presentation.

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Presentation on theme: "University governance and management in the UK and elsewhere: issues of quality assurance and accountability Terri Kim Brunel University UK Presentation."— Presentation transcript:

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2 University governance and management in the UK and elsewhere: issues of quality assurance and accountability Terri Kim Brunel University UK Presentation at the International Conference ‘Higher Education under Market Conditions: Theory and Practice’ held at Mykolas Romeris University Vilnius, 17 April 2008

3 Comparative Overview At the heart of higher education reforms in many countries around the world  ‘ New’ politics of neo-liberalism  Economic globalisation, and the  Increased public accountability of universities At the heart of higher education reforms in many countries around the world  ‘ New’ politics of neo-liberalism  Economic globalisation, and the  Increased public accountability of universities

4 Changing university governance and management in the UK In the context of neoliberal, public sector reforms Rationale: The concurrent massification of HE and globalisation of HE business (i)require effective and efficient use of resources; and thus (ii)legitimatise professional management. The welfare role of the State as regulator and purveyor of higher education, on the historical assumption that higher education is a public good, has been altered.

5 Changing State-University Relations The argument that the provision of higher education is part of a market has not only been accepted at the policy level, but is also directing the reforms of university governance in the UK (as well as other places). The current UK higher education system can be described as ‘market-framed’ (Cowen, 2000). The whole thrust of UK government policies and regulatory interventions has been gearing universities to market needs, market principles and corporatist management practices.

6 Public vs. Private HE Private higher education has recently become a global phenomenon. In many places – notably the United States, East Asia, and Latin America - private higher education is strong traditionally, and in Eastern and Central Europe, the fast growth of private higher education is dramatic. Western Europe (including the UK) currently remains the only major region in which private higher education is not emphasised. All British universities - except one (the University of Buckingham) - are all “public”.

7 Distinctive Features of Korean Private HE 1.The Role of Government in HE as a Regulator rather than a Purveyor of HE. 2.The Expansion of Korean HE has been led by the Private Sector: Universal access to HE – HE enrolment rate 82%; PHE accounts for almost the 80% of the Korean HE sector. 3.Lack of Strategic Diversification among four-year universities: High proportion of four-year general universities producing postgraduate degrees (about 75%) - Cf. Japan (48.5%); USA (61%). 4.The High Status of Private Universities in Korea: an average of 8 out of the top 10 universities are Private HEIs in Korea.

8 However, the public and private division in the UK higher education system is not completely clear-cut, especially when it comes to the relations of the Government and the University. The UK Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) writes: “ universities and colleges of higher education are private institutions, but publicly funded… They are autonomous; they have intellectual and academic freedom, and do not have to follow a Government-set curriculum.”(www.qaa.ac.uk)www.qaa.ac.uk

9 In the UK, The critical point, currently, is not a simple public-private distinction but the fact that the performance of universities is audited to guarantee public accountability, which in turn is linked to the scale of government subsidies. Universities are now ‘one of the last semi- nationalised sectors of the British economy’, used by the government as an instrument of social policy (Dickson, 2001, 23) - and as part of national economic survival. (Kim, 2004: 103)

10 Against this backdrop of the politics of State-University relations in the UK, the expansion and control of the system and the regulatory framework of university governance in the UK can now be noted. Expansion, control and finance of HE Ruling and Regulating Shifting patterns of power: quality measurement and institutional effects

11 Expansion, control and finance of HE Massification of HE started relatively late but has been rapid in the UK for the last fifteen years or so. Around 43% of year olds in England enter HE. Ongoing policy of Widening Participation in HE, Economic imperative for a high-skilled workforce The UK government has set a target to increase participation in HE to 50% of the age cohort by 2010.

12 Characteristics of the UK HE sector Major export earner: Extra recruitment of non-EU students had already generated over £1bn for the UK economy. Majority of UK universities are already engaged in for-profit services: The UK government’s position so far has been supportive towards the WTO/GATS negotiations.

13 The UK government’s HE policy agenda: Internationalisation, massification, and HE is treated as an international business in an internationally competitive market. Major Policy Actions was to reduce the unit amounts in HE funding. Consistency in HE funding policy since the Thatcher period. Overall, the reduction in the unit of sources combined with the major growth in student numbers meant that universities became particularly vulnerable to financial incentives and sanctions..

14 A key change has been the abandonment of professional self-government, operating within a ‘corporatist bargain’ (Kogan and Hanney, 2000) in favour of what has been called neo-liberalism. The new HE funding system in the UK has extended into a rationale for the reform of university governing bodies.

15 Legitimating Managerialism Bureaucracy is:Management is: Rule boundInnovative Inward lookingExternally oriented Compliance-centred Performance-centred OssifiedDynamic Professionalism is:Management is: PaternalistCustomer-centred Mystique riddenTransparent Standard-orientedResults-oriented Self-regulatingMarket-tested Politicians are:Managers are: DogmaticPragmatic InterferingEnabling UnstableStrategic Source: Clarke, J. and Newman, J. (1997) The Managerial State, Sage Publications.

16 Professional accountability: Changing nature of the academic profession Neoliberal managerialism as dominant model of knowledge “performance” Shifting core commitment: From ‘universal truth’ to ‘ quality control/assurance’ in the discourse of excellence Evidence-based practice; evidence-informed practice – “What counts is what works” - indicative of “performance management”: the new soft power of management theory and practice recognises performance as having acquired a normative force.

17 Market Accountability There has been an observable tendency in Western liberal states to emphasise both agency and consumer forms at the expense of professional and democratic forms, especially where countries are involved in large-scale shifts from traditional Keynesian Welfare State regimes to more market-oriented and consumer-driven systems. One of the main criticisms to have emerged is that the agency/consumer couplet instrumentalises, individualises, standardises, marketises and externalises accountability relationships at the expense of democratic values such as participation, self-regulation, collegiality, and collective deliberation that are said to enhance and thicken the relationships involved. Peters, M. (2001)

18 Ruling and Regulating Need for a stronger code of good governance for the UK HE sector (The Dearing Report, 1997) Perceived weakness in HE governance in management (The Lambert Review of Business-University Collaboration (2003) In terms of the legal framework, UK universities operate in the public sector, the charitable sector, the not-for-profit sector, and the business sector.

19 Shifting Patterns of Power: quality measurement and institutional effects University governance has shifted from ‘the professoriate’ to managers – who are in turn subject to the external market and state regulations. The role of Vice-Chancellor as the Chief Executive Officer (confirmed in the official websites of major universities – e.g. Oxford). University academics are increasingly being defined as employees, subject to management.

20 “ Those who profess and provide academic leadership are replaced by those who manage and organise academics. Discourse about academic leadership shifts into discourse about successful management.” (Cowen, 2000)

21 MANAGERS & PROFESSORS The shift is not merely that managers are more powerful than professors. The professors are now both managers and clerks. New career opportunities open up. The University is a new site of opportunity for non-knowledge work.

22 New Audit Culture in the UK Universities A variety of so-called ‘quality assurance’ mechanisms include the measurement of quality of university teaching as well as research outputs to make the performance of universities transparent to the public gaze. Academics are being redefined as ‘units of resource’ (Shore and Wright, 1999:561) whose performance and productivity must constantly be audited through the QAA’s code of practice and the assessment process of the RAE (from 1986 until 2008); REF(awaiting). Traditional control of the academic individual, with institutional governance characterised by collegiality has been replaced with a new style of top-down managerial governance.

23 Changing University Governance and Management: New Type of Manager-Academics and their common pattern of managerial behaviour in the UK universities. The are often: directly from the corporate sector – e.g. Imperial College, LSE foreign/international – e.g. Oxford, Manchester, Open University, Warwick, LBS 1.Initiate changes in a new place immediately after arrival and serve for a relatively short term period. 2.Stress the need for restructuring university governance and tackle human resource issues. 3. The pattern is in line with the government’s neoliberal public policies: corporatist values and market- oriented efficiency, immediate practical usefulness, and marketable outcomes

24 Hood to stand down as Oxford vice-chancellor Dr John Hood, the beleaguered vice-chancellor of the University of Oxford, announced today he would leave the institution when his five-year term comes to an end in September The decision is not being seen as a resignation. However, Hood's tenure has been beset by arguments with academics angry with his moves to usurp their power in steering the 800- year-old university. Hood joined Oxford from the University of Auckland in New Zealand in October He was the first outsider to be chosen to lead the university and won notoriety for trying to push through changes to the way it is governed. In December last year, dons in the university's Congregation - or parliament - rejected Hood's proposals to give lay members a narrow majority on a slimmed down university governing council. Opponents claimed this would have effectively ended academic self-rule and handed decision-making powers to outside business leaders. If successful, this would have seen the 26-member council with four lay members replaced with a 15-place council with eight outside members, including the chairman…. (The Guardian, 15 November 2007)

25 Growing Need for new leadership and trained managers in UK universities DfES Report ‘The Regulatory Impact of Assessment (2004) stresses the necessity to indentify leadership and management needs across the secor, and to build a cadre of professional leaders and managers. Leadership Foundation for Higher Education’s recent research report (Nov. 2007) confirms that people management in the HE sector is still relatively underdeveloped.

26 Transformation of the UK HE sector (1) From complexity to simplicity: the formerly diverse institutional types became unified simply by re-naming – all became universities (in 1992). New power relations between the UK government and the university became visible: new contractual relationship defined the new terms and conditions of HE funding. Operational uniformity in the UK HE system: standardised rules and regulations drawn from a business model applied to university governance and management on a national scale.

27 Transformation of the UK HE sector (2) Managerial governance has become evident in UK universities. Increasingly, university academics are classified in managerial terms. Frequency and intensity of the measurement of academic performance have become matters of complaint. Casualisation of academic labour is noticeable among UK universities.

28 League Table 2006: Permanent Staff Institution Permanent staff (%) Institution Permanent Staff(%) Bath Spa 98.6Sussex70.8 Creative Arts97.0Bath68.8 Bolton94.8Durham67.7 Northampton93.9Hull67.6 Derby93.5Gloucestershire57.4 Sheffield Hallam91.8Glasgow56.9 Teesside91.2Sheffield56.2 Coventry90.5Bristol45.3 … … ….…. East London76.6King’s College London43.0 Keele76.5Brunel36.7 Kingston76.1Oxford34.0 Goldsmiths College76.0LSE33.2 Greenwich72.6Imperial College32.4 Cambridge30.8 (Source: Times Higher)University of Arts, London 24.4 Aston22.5

29 In summary: Massification of HE + Globalisation of HE market = Marketisation of HE A university is judged and steered by the criteria of socio-economic usefulness. The effective and efficient management of resources in HE meant the adoption of corporatist governance and management model, which has created a new top-down line management structure in the university.  Late industrialisation of Higher Education Changing nature of the academic profession

30 Consequences and Arguably Negative Side Effects Trust has been replaced by transparency and public audit/accountability. Replacement of academic collegiality with competitiveness and managed collaboration Devolution of responsibility without power under the top-down management structure

31 New forms of external and internal managerial power are beginning to re-define the British academic profession. Managerial definitions of human relations in the university - a loss of dignity in the academic profession A paradox of course is that the new forms of governance in the UK university system were going to improve its levels of efficiency and make institutions leaner, meaner and more flexible. So far there is evidence that they have some new inflexibilities, and that they are meaner – though not perhaps in the sense intended by reformers.

32 Beginning of the End These corrosions are pronounced in the UK. The comparative question is: (i) whether these patterns will emerge in other countries, and (ii) why these patterns have not already emerged in all neo-liberal States, which have been affected by ideologies of economic globalisation and notions of economically relevant universities.

33 Given the global imperatives of the neoliberal market economy now, the likenesses of higher educational reform policies are striking. The policy question would then be, given the benchmarking in East Asia and the new concerns in Europe stimulated by the Bologna process and Lisbon strategies, which of these processes will “transfer” and which will not? The comparative question is, why not? Given the global imperatives of the neoliberal market economy now, the likenesses of higher educational reform policies are striking. The policy question would then be, given the benchmarking in East Asia and the new concerns in Europe stimulated by the Bologna process and Lisbon strategies, which of these processes will “transfer” and which will not? The comparative question is, why not?


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