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ERIC Number: EJ1021709
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1360-3108
Learning from the Private Sector: Institutional Approaches to Curriculum Leadership and Delivery
Taylor, John
Perspectives: Policy and Practice in Higher Education, v17 n4 p129-134 2013
Higher education institutions are facing increasing pressures to review their curriculum (Uchiyama and Radin 2009). The expectations of stakeholder groups, including students, parents and families, governments, employers and society in general have become increasingly explicit and targeted (Bamber et al. 2009). Universities are expected to play a leading role in developing graduates equipped to meet the requirements of economic development and the knowledge society; at the same time, it is assumed that such graduates will become "global citizens," contributing to international debates on the environment, international security, globalisation, social justice, disease and ageing (Braskamp 2009). As such expectations grow, universities across the world are also facing the challenge of utilising new technology to best effect and the pressures of new financial models, especially the increasing "consumerisation" of higher education (Nickolai, Hoffman, and Trautner 2012), an emphasis on "value for money" (Harvey 2006) and new forms of public accountability (Bovens 2007). Against this background, many universities have begun to consider curriculum change across the whole institution, commonly looking to provide students with more choice and flexibility, both in terms of content of programmes and in methods of delivery, and to establish a distinctive profile, providing their graduates with a particular range of knowledge, skills and experience. In this paper, the experience of three private universities in the United States is examined: Brown, Northeastern and Yale. All three possess a clear vision for the education they provide and all three operate in a highly competitive environment, seeking to attract well-qualified students from across the US and abroad. In each case, the universities have a view of the particular qualities that they expect their graduates to possess, qualities that are shared by their graduates irrespective of the specific subjects studied and that to some degree mark out these graduates from those prepared by other, competitor institutions. Such thinking now underpins the approach to institution-wide curriculum change adopted by other universities in many countries. It is important, therefore, to draw upon this experience and to consider whether there are lessons to be learned by other institutions. This paper draws upon detailed interviews undertaken with senior leaders and managers, and academic staff in three US universities and also makes use of documentary material made available by these institutions. The primary aim, therefore, was to identify particular issues or experiences, especially with regard to leadership and organisation, that might be transferable between different contexts.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Postsecondary Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Connecticut; Massachusetts; Rhode Island
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A