Conceptual Definition of Two Key Terms: Governance and Higher Education
In etymological terms, the origin of the word “governance” comes from the ancient Greek verb kybernein (κυβερνεĩν, infinitive) or kybernao (κυβερνάω, first person) that meant steering, guiding, or maneuvering a ship or a land-based vehicle, and was used the first time metaphorically by Plato for depicting the governing of men or people (people would be here the modern application). This etymological component of “steering” also is being reflected in the prefix of “cyber” (for example, in words such as “cybernetics”). In the modern English language, “governance” is related to “government” and to “govern”. Cybernetics deals with feedback and regulatory systems. If this close link between government and governance be continued conceptually, then a definition of governance may be: governance describes how a government governs. One may also say, alternatively: governance addresses how government governs based on feedback.