Many forces are rapidly changing how higher education operates today. A new book edited by RMIT’s Angel Calderon explores how higher education institutions are transforming in an age of globalisation.
The practice of institutional research and planning is a vital part of the decision support process in higher education across the globe.
Institutional Research and Planning in Higher Education: Global Contexts and Themes is the first book published from a global perspective that explores institutional research and planning practices across all world regions.
Bringing together a diverse set of contributors this book, says Calderon, sheds light on the past, present and future of institutional research, along with implications for higher education in general.
“We tackle some critical aspects about the professional practice, for instance we ponder about uses and misuses of data; growing tensions on the relevance, viability and legitimacy for higher education institutions, and ask what is a global university and how planning is done in a global university,” he said.
While the book focuses on the nature and practice of institutional planning, it has a significant emphasis on institutional management within higher education.
“We untangle the role that planners play in the decision making processes in universities and the role those practitioners play in shaping higher education policy and practice,” Calderon, Principal Advisor, Planning and Research, said.
“We also highlight the varying degrees of development across countries and the transformation that is occurring in higher education globally and how such changes are having an impact in the way institutions function.”
The book also explores the idea of a knowledge footprint for a university, as a means of identifying and measuring the impact of a university on economy, society or community, and the environment.
According to Calderon, there have been numerous studies done on the impact of universities on society but very little has been done on the global footprint.
“This framework can guide institutional researchers, planners, and decision makers to assess institutional performance against agreed objectives and inform the development of strategic directions.”
The book, says Calderon, has been designed to be a tool to encourage debate on the practice of institutional research and planning globally and its contribution to higher education and the impact of the book has already begun to permeate.
“Academics have started to use the book as a tool for discussion with students undertaking studies in educational policy and discussion and forums such as the LH Martin Institute’s blog and University World News, have given attention to particular themes discussed in the book.”
It was also a featured theme on the annual forum of the Association for Institutional Research held last May in Denver, Colorado.
Together with fellow editor Karen Webber, Calderon is contributing a chapter to a forthcoming book about higher education policy and governance, which will be published in Europe later this year.
His next book focuses on considerations and possibilities for higher education globally towards 2040.