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Strategies in traditional higher education: lessons from a newcomer?

Strategies in traditional higher education: lessons from a newcomer?
Strategies in traditional higher education: lessons from a newcomer?
This research project examines an institutional newcomer with a new organisational model for higher education, a virtual university, aspiring to be a “real university”. Carried out over the periods 2002-2003 and 2008-2009, the research process aimed to identify to what extent this virtual university is different and what traditional universities can learn.

Based upon a qualitative study of a virtual university, a newcomer in the higher education system in Spain, compared over two different time periods, this project found ample evidence of institutional change, continuous introspection and innovation, as well as critical awareness of weaknesses which needed to be overcome.

It derived lessons from the institutional change processes, explaining why and how this institution could address the increasing needs of universities and the pressures they were facing. The project leads to a change model showing that the management of internal factors (focus on the learning of the student and general use of ICT) as well as the external factors (needs of the knowledge society for lifelong learning, public-private partnership, external regulation and technological developments) of the institution could be successfully integrated.

Success has been achieved by the leadership respecting specific values, such as the conduct of research and quality in teaching and learning, which are related to “real universities”. The institution was able to organise the necessary support (reorganisation of work processes based on updated ICT and adaptation of the organisational model) to make it all work effectively and efficiently.

From the findings of this study, it follows that traditional universities could be winners if they acknowledge the implications for their own strategy and organisational model. It means rebalancing the elements of their complex mission and rethinking organisational roles together with enhancing all the aspects of the mission via the new technologies. This research project coincides with a growing awareness in public policy debates in Europe of the importance of improving the quality of teaching and learning by changing the culture of teaching in higher education and realizing the transformative power of ICT, allowing for collaborative ways of knowledge construction based on learning demands from the student. One of the findings of this project is that the main challenges – and opportunities – may not be technical, but rather strategic and organizational in nature.
De Jonghe, Anne-Marie
8e35a145-d5bf-4f05-8626-ebc92e85388a
De Jonghe, Anne-Marie
8e35a145-d5bf-4f05-8626-ebc92e85388a
TAYLOR, JOHN
6ce58feb-3550-482a-8fdf-1485c355272d

De Jonghe, Anne-Marie (2014) Strategies in traditional higher education: lessons from a newcomer? University of Southampton, Southampton Business School, Doctoral Thesis, 401pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

This research project examines an institutional newcomer with a new organisational model for higher education, a virtual university, aspiring to be a “real university”. Carried out over the periods 2002-2003 and 2008-2009, the research process aimed to identify to what extent this virtual university is different and what traditional universities can learn.

Based upon a qualitative study of a virtual university, a newcomer in the higher education system in Spain, compared over two different time periods, this project found ample evidence of institutional change, continuous introspection and innovation, as well as critical awareness of weaknesses which needed to be overcome.

It derived lessons from the institutional change processes, explaining why and how this institution could address the increasing needs of universities and the pressures they were facing. The project leads to a change model showing that the management of internal factors (focus on the learning of the student and general use of ICT) as well as the external factors (needs of the knowledge society for lifelong learning, public-private partnership, external regulation and technological developments) of the institution could be successfully integrated.

Success has been achieved by the leadership respecting specific values, such as the conduct of research and quality in teaching and learning, which are related to “real universities”. The institution was able to organise the necessary support (reorganisation of work processes based on updated ICT and adaptation of the organisational model) to make it all work effectively and efficiently.

From the findings of this study, it follows that traditional universities could be winners if they acknowledge the implications for their own strategy and organisational model. It means rebalancing the elements of their complex mission and rethinking organisational roles together with enhancing all the aspects of the mission via the new technologies. This research project coincides with a growing awareness in public policy debates in Europe of the importance of improving the quality of teaching and learning by changing the culture of teaching in higher education and realizing the transformative power of ICT, allowing for collaborative ways of knowledge construction based on learning demands from the student. One of the findings of this project is that the main challenges – and opportunities – may not be technical, but rather strategic and organizational in nature.

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Published date: August 2014
Organisations: University of Southampton, Southampton Business School

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 369398
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/369398
PURE UUID: 0b0ade20-3e38-4f53-94ec-b78811f9390c

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Date deposited: 24 Oct 2014 12:56
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 21:57

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Contributors

Author: Anne-Marie De Jonghe
Thesis advisor: JOHN TAYLOR

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