Tag: profiling

Guest blogger: Where have all the scientists gone? Building research profiles at Dutch universities and its consequences for research

Grit Laudel  (TU Berlin)

Grit Laudel
(TU Berlin)

This guest entry is written by Grit Laudel (TU Berlin) and Elke Weyer (German Council of Science and Humanities). In their guest entry they examine how research profiles were built at Dutch universities, and analyse the impact of profile-building for both universities and scientific fields and the potential consequences of these developments for national science systems as a whole. 

This entry is based on the book chapter with the same title in: Richard Whitley & Jochen Gläser (eds.). Organisational Transformation and Scientific Change: The Impact of Institutional Restructuring on Universities and Intellectual Innovation.

The book is Vol.42 in the series of “Research in the Sociology of Organizations“.

Elke Weyer

Elke Weyer
(German Council of Science and Humanities)

New Public Management reforms in many countries include enhanced opportunities for universities to build research profiles and pressure by the government to do so. Building research profiles usually means the concentration of resources on fewer topics than before. Despite their prevalence in many higher education systems, these processes have found little attention in higher education research, and their effects are poorly understood. At the same time, concerns have been raised that profile-building might threaten the diversity of research and make some fields disappear from the national research landscape.

Our empirical study of profile-building at Dutch universities looked at micro-level processes of profile-building and their possible nation-level effects. The Netherlands provide an excellent laboratory for such analysis due to advanced New Public Management reforms and the relatively small size of the country, which makes national fields very sensitive to decisions at individual universities.

Guest blogger: new tool for benchmarking internationalisation

Adinda van Gaalen, Senior Policy Officer at Nuffic

This guest entry was written by Adinda van Gaalen who works as a senior policy officer at Nuffic. Adinda is a regular contributor to the Nuffic blog where she covers issues of internationalisation. In this post, she gives a review of the recent symposium in Brussels that marked the finalization of the IMPI project, focused on developing indicators for mapping and profiling internationalisation. In addition, projects such as AHELO and MAUNIMO were discussed at this symposium. 

Participant experiences

Among other things, the IMPI project delivered a toolbox which is freely accessible on the web. Experiences with the IMPI toolbox were shared at the symposium by institutions that were involved in testing the toolbox during two separate benchmarking rounds.

For some users the tool helped to initiate discussions with stakeholders. ACUP (the Association of Public Universities in Catalunya, Spain), for instance, has reached agreement with the regional government to use a selection of indicators from the IMPI toolbox, rather than those set by the government, to report on their internationalisation efforts. The University of Reims initiated a similar discussion with the French national government. The university is now allowed to use the IMPI indicators it has selected for its own institution for the report to the national government – even though the report should officially include other indicators. Both governments were persuaded by the argument that indicators, which reflected the specific situation of an individual institution, make much more sense than using one size fits all indicators.