South African Journal of Higher Education

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Global market competition and higher education

O Kivinen, P Kaipainen


For higher education the globalisation of the economy and working life means increasing competition for resources, students and status. Today, as new forms of knowledge production are gaining ground, universities no longer hold the monopoly on scientific research and knowledge. This article seeks to chart appropriate strategies for the university of the 21st century. First it explores early and recent changes in higher education, such as the massification of higher education, various drifts affecting universities and harmonisation of the European degree structures. The globalisation of the market economy has meant changes in the survival strategies of universities and their research policies. Is it possible simultaneously to maintain excellence in research and in teaching? One of the challenges lies in providing high-quality education in the new fields without weakening the more traditional disciplines. One survival strategy could be to merge, another to specialise in few chosen fields. The article also ponders over the value of academic degrees in the future and concludes with a look at future prospects for the role and mission of the university.

South African Journal of Higher Education Vol.16(1) 2002: 60-66
AJOL African Journals Online