Brexit and British International Student Recruitment

I have recently been reading a book with a vivid title, Unleashing Demons.[i] The author is Craig Oliver, and the subject is the referendum on whether to remain a member of the European Union or to leave it. Oliver (knighted in 2016) was Director of Politics and Communications to the Prime Minister, then David Cameron, and he analyses how the government lost the case for Remain, giving a month by month account of the inside Brexit story. It was Cameron himself who, when asked to sum up the argument against holding a referendum, proclaimed: “You could unleash demons of which you know not”. And indeed the issue has proved to be extraordinarily toxic for the British body politic. Read more

Enhance – Inclusion and Diversity Management (IDM)

The Yerevan communiqué (2015) as well as subsequent national strategies on the social dimension encourage European Higher Educations Institutions (HEIs) to provide inclusive systems for previously under-represented student groups. The aim is to widen access to university and to improve the outcomes for a more diverse range of applicants (e.g. disabled students, students with different national/ethnic/cultural/ linguistic backgrounds, and students with differing levels of maturity or prior work experience). Read more

Higher education branding as a “sea of sameness” demands actions by higher education leadership and management

Organizational identity has received immense attention from a number of stakeholders (Bess & Dee, 2012; Stenstaker, 2015). An outgrowth of this attention can directly be tied to efforts to brand institutional activities (Wæraas & Solbakk, 2009). National and international competition has been a catalyst for branding in higher education (Stensaker, 2007). Therefore, managerial strategies such as marketing and branding have become a priority to higher education institutions (HEIs) in order to create an identity advantage at the national, regional, and international levels.

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Benchmarking Higher Education System Performance

The role of higher education is vital to our societies. Higher education contributes to human capital formation, to innovation and to the wider economic, social, cultural and environmental development.

As a result, higher education is rapidly expanding. Participation and attainment is increasing, the number of higher education institutions is growing and the sector serves a more diverse body of students. In addition, higher education is becoming increasingly global.

The sustained growth of higher education reflects its benefits. There are large incentives for individuals to obtain higher education qualifications. On average, higher education graduates have better labour market outcomes, they earn more than other workers, and individuals gain significant private returns on their investment in higher education. Read more

Research, policy and practice

The mission of EAIR is to be a European society with an international membership and view. It aims to strengthen the interaction between researchers, policy makers and practitioners. It seeks to be a professional and attractive partner to other associations in Europe and beyond, working in similar areas of higher education.

The research and development programmes of the European Union, especially the Erasmus+ programme and Horizon 2020, are policy-based programmes that implement the Europe 2020 Strategy. These programmes aim to create innovations using the participating organisations from various Member States or Partner Countries of the European Union. Innovations are based on novel ideas that are applied in practice to create new or improved processes, services or products. Read more

Bridging the hybridity between academics and administrators

For decades, universities have been described as hybrid organizations where different types of employees (read: academics and administrators) lead completely separate lives, both have their own niches and work interests. Compared to the corporate world, they would not be able to formulate future-proof strategies and respond to the ‘needs’ of contemporary society. Within the walls of the university, it is ‘an organized anarchy’ in which decision-making processes can be defined as ‘garbage can’. Several researchers (and good ones at that) have, in recent years, expressed themselves in such terms about the university as an organization.

Despite such criticisms, academic organizations have proven able to respond to an ever more rapidly changing world for hundreds of years. Universities continue to prove their added value, and they are perfectly able to demonstrate their public value. Universities adapt to the environment, change a little bit, but remain unchanged in their core. Read more

The EAIR that I breathe

Our association “The Higher Education Society” is in healthy shape. Reaching the age of maturity – EAIR will celebrate its 40th birthday in 2018 – we can look back at forums, well organised by enthusiastic and professional university teams, with great keynote speakers, many interesting contributions from participants and our members and interesting new initiatives, like the presidential roundtable and the special interest groups. An asset of our association is that the forums bring us to new places, leads to reacquainting old friends and introduces us to new colleagues. The size of the conference is manageable for each participant, with limited fears of getting lost in the crowd. Focusing on the period I chaired the Executive Committee, I look back with fond memories at the forums in e.g. Stavanger and Birmingham: before heading off to these forums, I did not realise what treasures these universities and their cities and regions would harbor and afterwards I was happy having met new interesting colleagues.

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Hosting Future EAIR Forums

Hosting Future Forums?

Have you or has your higher education institution ever considered to host one of the future EAIR Forums?

The annual EAIR Forum is the opportunity for researchers, practitioners and policymakers to get together, to exchange information, give or listen to presentations, network with colleagues from abroad and meet new and interesting people.

Forums are usually hosted by a university and each year a different European location is chosen as venue.

Each Forum has a special theme, which is sub-divided into several tracks to accommodate special interests and various fields of expertise and specialisation.

EAIR invites you to consider hosting an EAIR Forum in your institution of higher education and in your city for 2019 and onwards. All institutions are invited.

If you are interested, please submit a proposal to the EAIR Office before the deadline of 1 July 2017. Feel free to forward this message to institutions that you think may be willing to consider this.

If you need more information or would like to discuss other issues, do not hesitate to contact the EAIR Executive Manager, Gerlof Groenewoud (eair@eairweb.org) or the Chair Executive Committee of EAIR Attila Pausits (attila.pausits@donau-uni.ac.at)

Cutting the cost of higher education wins few votes

Here in the UK we are in the first week into our first conservative government for 18 years. What can our European colleagues possibly learn from the political pledges that have led up to this and what are the early predications for tertiary higher education in UK? If we start by looking at the party manifestos we can get a sense of party/electorate priorities for Higher Education and possible developments in the UK and beyond over next five years. Read more