What does it Mean Conceptually that Universities Compete?
AbstractThis article addresses the issue of how and why European universities are learning to compete, in a situation where the national institutional context and sectoral conditions are undergoing transformation. European universities – from top leaders, faculties, research groups and individual employees – are increasingly forced to explain to many stakeholders about how, whether, and why their scientific knowledge and educational programmes are relevant to society or not. For example, if universities are not contributing to public and private goods, why should society continue providing resources? Why should students pay for education, if the individual returns are too low? Why should companies and private foundations pay for research, if the results are not directly relevant to their goals? How can the efficiency and productivity of the university be improved – and which metrics can be used to demonstrate that those goals have been met? What are the dilemmas and trade-offs that this new competitive regime imposes on the functioning of universities and of society? These are the types of questions currently raised within universities in Continental Europe and Nordic countries, and ones that university leaders, faculty and staff will have to answer. Or else, they should raise new types of questions and perspectives about the role of the university in society.universities now face clear demands of producing immediately usefulness knowledge to students, businesses and society (enhanced amongst other by the Bologna process). The pressures on the university to quickly respond to societal and industrial demands have been more forcefully articulated in recent years. If these organizations wish to retain the traditional values of scholarship, they will need to do so, in parallel with understanding – and changing – their selection environment in the future. We focus upon the competition aspect from a Schumpeterian view, in order to draw out the logical conclusions but we do not focus upon whether those outcomes are desirable or negative. We choose this focus because we know that universities play major roles in the knowledge society, and current debates within the EU indicate that we will see additional major changes in the national institutional context and global markets. The article turns to more abstract questions, such as whether competition exists amongst universities and if so, what are the major trends and future outcomes of this shift from a social institution to a knowledge business. Thus, do universities really compete? And if so, how do they compete? And over what?
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies in its series Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation with number 139.
Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: 09 Sep 2008
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology, SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: +46 8 790 95 63
Web page: http://www.infra.kth.se/cesis/
More information through EDIRC
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
- I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2008-09-20 (All new papers)
- NEP-CSE-2008-09-20 (Economics of Strategic Management)
- NEP-EDU-2008-09-20 (Education)
- NEP-EEC-2008-09-20 (European Economics)
- NEP-SOG-2008-09-20 (Sociology of Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Eliasson, Gunnar, 1988. "The Firm as a Competent Team," Working Paper Series 207, Research Institute of Industrial Economics, revised Feb 1990.
- Philippe Aghion & Thibault Fally & Stefano Scarpetta, 2007.
"Credit constraints as a barrier to the entry and post-entry growth of firms,"
CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 22, pages 731-779, October.
- Scarpetta, Stefano & Fally, Thibault & Aghion, Philippe, 2007. "Credit Constraints as a Barrier to the Entry and Post-Entry Growth of Firms," Scholarly Articles 4554208, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Aghion, Philippe & Fally, Thibault & Scarpetta, Stefano, 2007. "Credit Constraints as a Barrier to the Entry and Post-Entry Growth of Firms," IZA Discussion Papers 3237, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Eliasson, Gunnar, 1990. "The firm as a competent team," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 275-298, June.
- Richard R. Nelson, 1959. "The Simple Economics of Basic Scientific Research," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 67, pages 297.
- Butler, Linda, 2003. "Explaining Australia's increased share of ISI publications--the effects of a funding formula based on publication counts," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 143-155, January.
- Ben Martin & Puay Tang, 2007. "The benefits from publicly funded research," SPRU Working Paper Series 161, SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex.
- Paula E. Stephan, 1996. "The Economics of Science," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(3), pages 1199-1235, September.
- Geuna, Aldo & Nesta, Lionel J.J., 2006. "University patenting and its effects on academic research: The emerging European evidence," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 790-807, July.
- Mowery, David C. & Nelson, Richard R. & Sampat, Bhaven N. & Ziedonis, Arvids A., 2001. "The growth of patenting and licensing by U.S. universities: an assessment of the effects of the Bayh-Dole act of 1980," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 99-119, January.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Vardan Hovsepyan).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.