BH Associates
Education Consultants

Blog

News & Announcements

Maximising Universities' Civic Mission

This report understand universities’ civic mission as their commitment to bettering the local and regional communities of which they are part. A civic mission is an acknowledgement that universities have an obligation to act in this way, and civic engagement is the process by which this is achieved.

Universities’ potential for civic engagement in Wales is shaped by several factors: institutional origin and subsequent development, the Welsh, and UK, higher education
policy context and the globalisation of higher education and the economy at large.

Read More
BH Associates
From Charter to Framework: The Case for Higher Education Provision in Kilkenny

Kilkenny County Council engaged BH Associates to explore the case for a substantial higher education provision in Kilkenny city to support the social and economic development of the city, county and region through the provision, attraction and retention of graduates with high level skills. The report, From Charter to Framework: The Case for Higher Education Provision in Kilkenny, was launched by the Minister of State at the Department of Education & Skills, with special responsibility for Higher Education.

Read More
BH Associates
REPORT OF SEMINAR: Higher Education and the Public Interest

This is the first seminar to be hosted by BH Associates, who have as one of their objectives to create opportunities for public debate on education matters.

There are two key, and separate, aspects to the functioning of higher education institutions (HEI) - academic freedom and institutional autonomy. The academic freedom of institutions enjoyed broad political and societal support.  But, in the case of institutional autonomy, the matter was not so clear-cut.

Read More
BH Associates
FORTHCOMING EVENT: Public Trust and Accountability in Higher Education

Session to be held at CHEA conference, 2018, Washington, DC

Higher education is under pressure to be more transparent and accountability for its education and research. Almost everywhere a war of words has opened-up about credential relevance, career readiness and cost vs. price. We have traditionally relied on peer-review and self-reporting, but critics (and even some of our friends) are saying this is no longer adequate. To what extent are students and the “public” distrustful of higher education or are the media and political officials actively encouraging such distrust? Can traditional forms of academic accountability, such as quality assurance and accreditation, continue to deliver public assurance of the quality of institutional performance or are new forms of external verification required? How do we balance different perspectives? 

Read More
BH Associates
Time to rebuild trust between higher education and political system

For all the Cabinet meetings held on university campuses, the smiling photo ops of Ministers at launches and sod turnings, the fine phrases of presidents in introducing politicians you would be forgiven for thinking that there is a strong and positive relationship between the universities, institutes and the political system.  You would be wrong. Underlying the smiles and mutual congratulation lurks a damaging mutual distrust that is in part unique to higher education but also part of a wider context which sees significant disenchantment with key institutions of the State and civil society. ... 

Is there an appetite on the part of all sides to come together and forge a new understanding, a rebalancing of regulation and autonomy and a rededication to mutual respect?  We would all be winners. 

Read More
BH Associates
Funding Undergraduate Education

For more than a decade we have been talking about the key issue for both undergraduate education and research - how do we sustainably fund undergraduate education? A solution will not come easy. It requires leadership. 

Read More
BH Associates
Is higher education serving the public interest?

As questions are asked about the relevance and value of our public institutions, the public is also asking whether higher education is serving its interests. Those interests inevitably vary depending upon who is asked – students, parents, employers, politicians, etc. There is no single blueprint. But there is the necessity for higher education institutions to learn from each other and by working together to develop frameworks for institutional leadership and management that recognise the importance of civic engagement and institutionalise this activity into the academic structure and professional support mechanisms of the university.

Read More
BH Associates
Why most universities should quit the rankings game

Universities around the world, many more than will ever publicly admit it, are currently obsessed with gaining status in one or more national or global ranking of universities. They should quit now. 
Although some may succeed in becoming ranked or may improve their numerical scores marginally, it is almost never worth either the resources required or the substantial changes in mission or academic programmes necessary.

Read More
BH Associates
Take Care When Using Rankings for Policymaking and Institutional Decision-making?

Rankings have acquired legitimacy because their methodology appears statistically rigorous and independent. They also appear to be the only way to compare performance and quality internationally. But, rather than using rankings, governments and HEIs should focus on benchmarking – such as that promoted by ACU. This uses a sophisticated combination of qualitative and quantitative methodologies to embrace and embed the full spectrum of teaching/learning, research/discovery and innovation/engagement. 

Read More
BH Associates
Why Internationalisation Matters

International mobility is a global phenomenon, and growing. Once seen primarily as cultural exchange, internationalisation is now recognised as essential for strengthening the interconnectivity of higher education institutions, and countries, in an increasingly borderless and interdependent world. However, not all students are willing or able to spend time abroad. Strengthening and embedding internationalisation “at home” and “on campus” is therefore more vital than ever. 

Read More
BH Associates
Re-Asserting the Public Good Role of Higher Education in Turbulent Times

Universities need to rethink what it means to be a public institution in the 21st century, in part because the publics which support higher education through taxation need to believe that they are getting value. But also, higher education needs to make itself relevant to the global challenges that threaten the future of humankind. This reformulation of an old idea, the civic university, challenges us to ensure that through teaching, research and engagement, universities place themselves at the centre of the local-regional-global nexus, working multi-laterally and multi-dimensionally, to make a difference.

Read More
BH Associates