Rethinking Business Models for 21st Century Higher Education: A European Perspective

Jessica Lichy, Rickard Enstroem
2015 International Journal of Higher Education  
The late 20th century was an era of social, economic, technological, and political change, resulting in significant shifts in the perception of enlightenment, knowledge, and education. The impact of these changes have become quite apparent in higher education where there is now mounting pressure for faculty to deliver high quality education to an internationally mobile cohort and where institutions are striving to attract funding, researchers, research grants, top students, and teaching staff.
more » ... o cope with the many challenges, new business models are needed. Introducing change, however, is fraught with many problems; in particular, institutional barriers among disciplines, management commitment, socio-economic factors, and cultural issues. In this paper, we take a look at and discuss three European higher education institutions currently undergoing transformation-a British, a Finnish, and a Russian-to draw attention to some of the inherent factors that higher education institutions face when they seek to implement new business models to manage the competitive environment for higher education. system is geared to promoting the competitiveness of the Finnish welfare society. With the mission of providing high quality education that meets the changing needs of society, the Finnish HEI is committed to equipping students with skills which are highly valued in the professional world. It has integrated a well-functioning international cooperation network that serves as a forum for various projects related to education as well as research and development. In the case of the British HEI, one of the key goals in the new business approach is to foster a strong culture of internationalisation which encourages staff, students, and stakeholders to view the world from both local and global perspectives, to extend international engagement, contribute to teaching and research goals, and through influence and reputation create a more powerful and recognised brand for the university. For many years, the British HEI has been a major contributor to the internationalisation of the institution and continues to play a key part in the new organisational strategy, evidenced by its commitment to create global citizens. The general consensus is that formal partnerships with global HEIs can benefit the whole institution in a number of ways, including curriculum development, innovation, and the extension of opportunities for international experience for staff and students. Currently, the British HEI has 43 formal partnership agreements for staff exchange, student progression, research and teaching in countries such as Latvia, China, Egypt, Turkey, France, India, and Switzerland. The new business approach at the British HEI is aimed at further developing international collaboration over the next decade in order to transmit research-informed knowledge to the increasingly global learning community. This knowledge is also to be shared with different national partners, including small and medium enterprises, blue-chip multi-national companies, non-government organisations, charities, and large public sector organisations.
doi:10.5430/ijhe.v4n4p119 fatcat:ltqoy2goqnf4pmfx56w7ooidri