Higher Education

, Volume 70, Issue 6, pp 941–956 | Cite as

Rules of engagement: measuring connectivity in national systems of higher education

Article

Abstract

With the advent of mass higher education and the consequent absorption of significant national resources, both public and private, it is inevitable that universities are increasingly expected to meet a range of societal needs. They are expected to ‘connect’ with society at large. In this paper, we argue that connectivity is best integrated with research, teaching and scholarship and should not be relegated to a ‘third stream’. We compare degrees of connectivity of 50 national systems of higher education using ten indicators, making a distinction between domestic and international connectivity. The strongest finding is that smaller countries exhibit the highest level of international connectivity. The higher education systems in countries with large absolute numbers of researchers such as the USA, China and Japan are relatively self-contained compared with countries such as Ireland, Switzerland and Singapore. Another finding is the relative insularity of the education sector in Eastern Europe, including the Russian Federation. When differences in levels of economic development are allowed for, among lower-income countries South Africa stands out as having a well-connected higher education sector.

Keywords

University engagement Third mission Connectivity Benchmarking Ranking Universitas 21 

Notes

Acknowledgments

Gaétan de Rassenfosse’s current affiliation is College of Management, Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland. The article was written when Gaétan was a senior research fellow at the University of Melbourne. This work forms part of the Universitas 21 sponsored project Ranking National Systems of HigherEducation located at the Melbourne Institute, University of Melbourne (www.universitas21.com). We are indebted to Robert Tijssen (CWTS-Leiden) and Isidro Aguillo (Webometrics) for the provision of data. We are most grateful to the Editor and two anonymous referees who provided very insightful comments on an earlier draft.

References

  1. Abramo, G., D’Angelo, C. A., & Di Costa, F. (2009). Research collaboration and productivity: Is there correlation? Higher Education, 57, 155–171.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Abramo, G., D’Angelo, C. A., & Di Costa, F. (2011). University-industry research collaboration: A model to access university capability. Higher Education, 62, 163–181.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Altbach, P. (2003). The costs and benefits of world-class universities. International Higher Education, 33(Fall), 5–8.Google Scholar
  4. Archiburgi, D., & Pietrobelli, C. (2003). The globalisation of technology and its implications for developing countries: Windows of opportunity or further burdening? Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 70(9), 861–863.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Boyer, E. L. (1992). Scholarship reconsidered: Priorities of the professoriate. Issues in Accounting Education, 7(1), 87–91.Google Scholar
  6. Butler, L. (2003). Explaining Australia’s increased share of ISI publications—The effects of a funding formula based on publication counts. Research Policy, 32, 143–155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Casper, S. (2013). The spill-over theory reversed: The impact of regional economies on the commercialization of university science. Research Policy, 42, 1313–1324.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. de Rassenfosse, G., Dernis, H., Guellec, D., Picci, L., & van Pottelsberghe, B. (2014). The worldwide count of priority patents: A new indicator of inventive activity. Research Policy, 42, 720–737.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Delgado-Márquez, B. L., Escudero-Torres, M. Á., & Hurtado-Torres, N. E. (2013). Being highly internationalised strengthens your reputation: An empirical investigation of top higher education institutions. Higher Education, 66(5), 619–633.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Dill, D., & van Vught, F. (2014). The contribution of universities to innovation: Insights from a comparative study of the leading OECD nations. In A. Maldonado-Maldonado & R. Bassett (Eds.), The forefront of international higher education: A Festschrift in honour of Philip G. Altbach (pp. 209–222). Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  11. Douglass, J. (2014). Profiling the flagship university modelAn exploratory proposal for changing the paradigm from ranking to relevancy. Research and Occasional Paper Series 5.14, Center for Studies in Higher Education, University of California, Berkeley.Google Scholar
  12. Dumay, J., Guthrie, J., & Farneti, F. (2010). GRI sustainability reporting guidelines for public and third sector organisations. Public Management Review, 12(4), 531–548.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Eggins, H. (2014). Global diversity: Emerging trends. In A. Maldonado-Maldonado & R. Bassett (Eds.), The forefront of international higher education: A Festschrift in honour of Philip G. Altbach (pp. 209–222). Dordrecht: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Etzkowitz, H., & Leydesdorff, L. (1995). The triple helix—University–industry–government relations: A laboratory for knowledge-based economic development. EASST Review, 14(1), 14–19.Google Scholar
  15. Etzkowitz, H., & Leydesdorff, L. (2000). The dynamics of innovation: From national systems and ‘Mode 2’ to a tripe helix of university–industry–government relations. Research Policy, 29(2), 109–123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. European Commission. (2012a). Overview of higher education in Israel. Tempus Programme. http://eacea.ec.europa.eu/tempus/
  17. European Commission. (2012b). Green paper: Fostering and measuring ‘Third Mission’ in higher education institutions. Lifelong Learning Programme.Google Scholar
  18. Hazelkorn, E. (2007). The impact of league tables and ranking systems on higher education decision making. Higher Education Management and Policy, 19(2), 87–110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hazelkorn, E. (2008). Learning to live with league tables and ranking: The experience of institutional leaders. Higher Education Policy, 21(2), 193–215.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Jongbloed, B., Enders, J., & Salerno, C. (2008). Higher education and its communities: Interconnections, interdependencies and a research agenda. Higher Education, 56(3), 303–324.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Lane, N. (2008). US science and technology: An uncoordinated system that seems to work. Technology in Society, 30, 248–263.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Marginson, S., & van der Wende, M. (2007). To rank or to be ranked: The impact of global rankings in higher education. Journal of Studies in International Education, 11(3/4), 306–329.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Marhl, M., & Pausita, A. (2011). Third mission indicators for new ranking. Evaluation in Higher Education, 5(1), 43–64.Google Scholar
  24. Meyer, M., Grant, K., Morlacchi, P., & Weckowska, D. (2014). Triple Helix indicators as an emergent area of enquiry: A bibliometric perspective. Scientometrics, 99, 151–174.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Molas-Gallart, J., Salter, A., Patel, P., Scott, A., & Duran, X. (2002). Measuring third stream activities—Final report to the Russell Group of universities. Falmer: Social and Technology Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex.Google Scholar
  26. Montesinos, P., Carot, J. M., Martinez, J.-M., & Mora, F. (2008). Third mission ranking for world class universities: Beyond teaching and research. Higher Education in Europe, 33(2/3), 259–271.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. OECD. (2007). Higher education and regions: Globally competitive, locally engaged. Paris: OECD.Google Scholar
  28. Olsen, J., & Slaughter, S. (2014). Forms of capitalism and creating world-class universities. In A. Maldonado-Maldonado & R. Bassett (Eds.), The Forefront of international higher education: A Festschrift in honour of Philip G. Altbach (pp. 267–279). Dordrecht: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Sánchez-Barrioluengo, M. (2014). Articulating the ‘three-missions’ in Spanish universities. Research Policy, 43, 1760–1773.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Schaaper, M. (2014). The human factor in innovation. Chapter 2 in Cornell University, INSEAD and WIPO. The Global Innovation Index 2014: The human factor in innovation, Fontainebleau, Ithaca and Geneva.Google Scholar
  31. Smith, D. N. (2013). Academics, the ‘cultural third mission’ and the BBC: Forgotten histories of knowledge creation, transformation and impact’. Studies in Higher Education, 38(5), 663–677.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Sorensen, A. (1999). R&D, learning and phases of economic growth. Journal of Economic Growth, 4(4), 429–445.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Tijssen, R. J. W. (2012). Co-authored research publications and strategic analysis of public–private collaboration. Research Evaluation, 21(3), 204–215.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Van der Wende, M. C. (2014). On mergers and missions: Implications for institutional governance and government steering. In Y. Cheng, Q. Wang, & N. Liu (Eds.), How world-class universities affect global higher education (pp. 137–152). Rotterdam: Sense.Google Scholar
  35. Van Vught, F., & Westerheijden, D. F. (2010). Multidimensional ranking: A new transparency tool for higher education and research. Higher Education Management and Policy, 22(3), 31–56.Google Scholar
  36. West, P. W. A. (2009). A Faustian bargain? Institutional responses to national and international rankings. Higher Education Management and Policy, 21(1), 9–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Williams, R., & de Rassenfosse, G. (2014). Pitfalls in aggregating performance measures in higher education. Studies in Higher Education. doi:10.1080/03075079.2014.914912
  38. Williams, R., de Rassenfosse, G., Jensen, P., & Marginson, S. (2013). The determinants of quality national higher education systems. Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management, 35(6), 599–611.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. World Bank. (2012). Putting higher education to work: Skills and research for growth in east Asia. Washington, DC: World Bank.Google Scholar
  40. Wu, W., & Zhou, Y. (2012). The third mission stalled? Universities in China’s technological progress. Journal of Technology Transfer, 37(6), 812–827.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Melbourne InstituteUniversity of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia

Personalised recommendations