Enhancing the performance of universities

While just about every government has to economise, it is widely accepted that good higher education is a precondition for economic growth. Universities are trapped between these conflicting demands and the slogan: “We have to do more with less” does not offer much consolation. Expanding costs of research cannot be kept in check by efficiency measures. Raising fees to offset the higher cost of education is a tricky business because of the many unwanted effects of such measures.

The paradox of Higher Education Policy

The paradox of increasing demands and decreasing funding requires innovative solutions. In most countries, universities are administered by the state and are run like a communist-style economy. No wonder universities complain about red tape and the impossibility of applying modern human resources management. Yet universities are obliged to account for the vast amounts of public money they receive. In the past, academic research and education was the unchallenged domain of the departments of science and education. Nowadays however, higher education and academic entrepreneurship are also a responsibility of departments of economy or finance, often with the involvement of departments of agriculture, communication, and defence as well as other governmental agencies.

Traditional solutions have been exhausted. Innovative approaches are required

Universities find themselves in an internationally competitive situation. They have discovered marketing for students, research grants and academics. They offer special courses for the best and brightest. Following the leading American and English universities, they try to collaborate with industry and create facilities for technostarters. They set up new departments for non-traditional subjects and offer an ever-wider curriculum.

How do universities compete?

However well meant, ad-hoc solutions do not lead to desired results; a vision is needed. Competition creates winners and loosers and the question is: who will be the winners? The concept of the Third Generation University (3GU) has proven to be a powerful guideline for many universities. Hans Wissema’s book Towards the Third Generation has become an international bestseller and has been translated into Polish, Turkish and Macedonian (see Summary under Downloads). The Turkish edition, published by Ozyegin University Press in Istanbul, has run out and will be reprinted; the new edition is exxpected to be out at the end of 2013.

Need of a vision

We offer three services:

  1. We give presentations and anchor discussions about the 3GU concept. Since the book was published, we have visited over a hundred universities in Europe, Asia and Latin America. Many of them have decided to use the concept as a basis for future development.
  2. We help universities restructure, using the approach we use for companies.
  3. We participate in teams that redesign higher education policy and innovation policy.

For presentations we accept invitations by email. For assistance in university management and higher education policy a personal contact is a prerequisite.

Our services