Tag: administration

Administrative support for internationalisation – mobility agreements and joint degree programmes

Kristi Barcus (Univeristy of Oslo, Hedda)

Kristi Barcus
(Univeristy of Oslo / Hedda)

In this entry, Hedda’s own Kristi Barcus (University of Oslo) shares her expertise about working with internationalisation within the study administration. While we often hear about the importance of internationalisation as a strategic objective for universities, an administrative perspective provides valuable insights into the specific measures that can be taken to assure that such policies are effectively put into practice. 

Since I started working at the University of Oslo in 2006, internationalization has become an ever increasing “hot topic”.  The university even dedicated an entire year to internationalization, calling 2012 “internationalization year”. UiOs Strategy 2020 has set a strong emphasis on internationalization both within its teaching and research activities. But what does internationalization mean to a study administrator and what are some ways in which administrators contribute to internationalization at universities?

Student Mobility

Working in study administration, internationalization is to a large extent linked to student mobility. During the recent SIU Internationalization conference in Trondheim the rector of the University of Bergen, Dag Rune Olsen, reflected on the importance of student mobility.  He said, “If a student doesn’t plan on studying aboard during their degree, maybe they should reevaluate their reason for studying. (own translation)” The idea that all students should spend time abroad during their studies is often a core aspect of internationalization policies at universities. The expectation that having an international dimension of a study program is valuable not only for the student and her future, but also to the university itself is an important factor. But how do you motivate students to study abroad? What can an administrator do to facilitate this?

Thematic week: 2013 EAIE conference – practice oriented and on grand scale

The 25th Annual EAIE Conference was held in Istanbul about two weeks ago, 10-13th of September. Unlike other conferences, this is targeting educational professionals and not only researchers. As such, the conference is also on a very different scale.

For this conference, we asked two people to give a brief insight regarding their impressions of the conference – Eva Maria Reina (UNICA) and Hedda Master Programme graduate Jason Wertz (Norwegian Business School)

Eva Maria Reina  (UNICA)

Eva Maria Reina

Eva Maria Reina from UNICA gives a brief summing up from what her impressions were. UNICA is a Network of Universities from the Capitals of Europe and Eva Maria works there as a project manager. 

The 25th Annual EAIE Conference took place in Istanbul on 10-13 September and happened to be the most attended conference in the history of the EAIE. The event gathered more than 4800 higher education professionals from over 90 countries to discuss different trends in internationalization of higher education under the title “Waving the future of international partnerships”.

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the EAIE annual conferences, the organization released a publication aiming to explore the next 25 years of international higher education, which gathered inspiring essays from renown authors in the field, such as Philip Altbach, Jane Knight and Hans de Wit.

The Opening Plenary counted on the participation of the Turkish minister of education, Nabi Abci, who highlighted the responsibility of universities in promoting diversity, global awareness and human rights. British politician and UN diplomat Paddy Ashdown shared with the audience his inspiring views on the future of higher education in a changing world. He mentioned four key aspects that in his opinion will imply deep global changes: the shift of power, the end of the western hegemony, the increasing creation of international networks, and the development of human capital.

Guest blogger: Forget MOOCs – Let’s Use MOOA

Professor Benjamin Ginsberg (Photo: Johns Hopkins University)

Professor Benjamin Ginsberg
(Photo: Johns Hopkins University)

This guest commentary takes the MOOCs trend as a comparison point in providing a commentary to current developments in higher education management in the US. The post is written by Professor Benjamin Ginsberg who is a David Bernstein Professor and Director of the Washington Center for the Study of American Government at the Johns Hopkins University.

The entry was originally posted in the “Minding the Campus” Essay collection ans has been republished with permission. Minding the Campus is a site with its main aim to facilitate critical debate about American higher education.

As colleges begin using massive open online courses (MOOC) to reduce faculty costs, a Johns Hopkins University professor has announced plans for MOOA (massive open online administrations). Dr. Benjamin Ginsberg, author of The Fall of the Faculty, says that many colleges and universities face the same administrative issues every day. By having one experienced group of administrators make decisions for hundreds of campuses simultaneously, MOOA would help address these problems expeditiously and economically. Since MOOA would allow colleges to dispense with most of their own administrators, it would generate substantial cost savings in higher education.

“Studies show that about 30 percent of the cost increases in higher education over the past twenty-five years have been the result of administrative growth,” Ginsberg noted. He suggested that MOOA can reverse this spending growth.  “Currently, hundreds, even thousands, of vice provosts and assistant deans attend the same meetings and undertake the same activities on campuses around the U.S. every day,” he said.  “Imagine the cost savings if one vice provost could make these decisions for hundreds of campuses.”

Asked if this “one size fits all” administrative concept was realistic given the diversity of problems faced by thousands of schools, Ginsberg noted that a “best practices” philosophy already leads administrators to blindly follow one another’s leads in such realms as planning, staffing, personnel issues, campus diversity, branding and, curriculum planning. The MOOA, said Ginsberg, would take “best practices” a step further and utilize it to realize substantial cost savings.

The modernisation agenda largely unquestioned?

In the end of January, the European Centre for the Strategic Management of Universities (ESMU) arranged a conference within the MODERN project framework. The conference was themed “Engaging in the Modernisation Agenda for European higher education“. MODERN is a three-year EU-funded project under the EU Lifelong Learning Programme that has an ambition to examine the supply and demand of higher education management programmes, and address the issues that emerge from a fragmented educational landscape in this areas in Europe.

The conference was held in Brussels and the main ambition was to address the newly launched modernisation agenda. ESMU as an organisation itself has a clearly identified focus on the need to modernise higher education governance, management and modes of operation linked to a clearly European identity. As a key theme the conference identified the Commissions statement that “the full potential of higher education institutions is still underexploited. Europe has too few world-class universities and needs a much wider diversity of institutions to address different needs“.

The various presentations and themes of the conference focused on rankings, on strategic management and the linkages between internal governance to external pressures, delivered by an impressive list of speakers including various senior policymakers, university leaders and researchers.

In essence, the conference had a dual focus – on the one hand focusing on the core of the MODERN project that has its focus on the professionalisation aspects of university administration/management (an area relatively under-researched in comparison to the academic profession) and on the other hand the focus was on the implications of the modernisation agenda.