What Does it Mean Conceptually that Universities Compete?
Book chapter, 2009
This chapter asks what competition may mean for universities and other higher education institutions. The modern rhetoric states that universities compete but is hardly very precise in formulating what this entails. This chapter describes an evolutionary economics and innovation management perspective for understanding international trends and the responses of specific universities, but also comments upon the limits to such competition as regulated by government, laws etc. The chapter portrays universities as knowledge based service providers with a set of different stakeholders (students, firms, governments). From a selection perspective, the chapter analyses what type of outputs these stakeholders are interested in and what metrics there are in terms of assessing these outputs. This analysis is conducted in terms of characteristics of the university sectors in terms of value, resources and appropriation for education, research and ‘innovation’. This chapter thus addresses what competition and transformation mean for universities, focusing on universities within a global sector providing knowledge-based services.