Reform to revolution: universities, challenge and change

Tuesday 02 June 2015 -
09:00 to 10:15
Session 5.5. Queen Elizabeth II Centre, London.

In the context of global turbulence and major change sweeping across many countries of the world, higher education systems, and the universities and colleges that comprise them, are facing changing and conflicting expectations which they must meet with ever greater speed. Some of these originate from the State, some from a diverse range of stakeholders and some from institutions themselves. Universities and colleges are variously expected to be major contributors to countries’ global positioning, drivers of economic development, builders of societal well-being, guardians of democracy, as well as providers of teaching and research. The national contexts in which they operate are as diverse as former soviet regimes, Arab cultures - some of which have been subject to up-risings, Asian countries coming together to collaborate, and mature European and western systems. Institutions’ internal operating contexts also differ – in particular in their levels of autonomy from government.

Through case studies and discussion with delegates, this session explores ways in which universities have responded strategically to the challenges of stakeholder expectations arising out of turbulence and change in country contexts. In particular, presenters consider the sustainability of these institutional responses. Looking across the examples from very diverse contexts, we ask whether it is possible to see the emergence of common patterns and models of institutional change which are successful, sustainable and transferable.

David Lock draws on the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education’s experience of engaging in these processes in the UK and around 30 other countries. Dr Aida Sagintayeva and Dr Kairat Kurakbayev present a case study from Nazarbayev University, a new university set up to drive the government of Kazakhstan’s policy of 'Europeanisation' of the education system and its global integration. Dr Steve Cannon presents a case study exploring the impact on Hong Kong universities of the "Umbrella Revolution", the pro-democracy protest in which students and faculty took a prominent and leading role. 

Dr Steven Cannon
Executive Vice-President, University of Hong Kong

Steve Cannon joined HKU in 2013 as its first Executive Vice-President. His portfolio encompasses fiscal affairs, human resource management, estate and facilities management together with health care, safety, information technology and communications and public affairs. Steve has held senior positions with the Scottish Funding Council and at the Universities of Warwick, Dundee and Aberdeen where he was Secretary and Director of Operations. Session 5.5

Dr Steven Cannon

Dr Kairat Kurakbayev
Research Institute’s Director, Nazarbayev University Graduate School of Education, Kazakhstan

Before coming to the NUGSE, Kairat worked as a school teacher, a teacher educator and a higher education administrator. Kairat's research interests focus on globalisation and educational policy, school reforms and educational innovation. Session 5.5

Dr Kairat Kurakbayev

David Lock
Director of International Projects, Leadership Foundation for Higher Education, UK

David Lock, as Director of International Projects at the Leadership Foundation, has led projects with over 30 different countries including programmes for implementing national HE reform strategies and building partnerships between universities in different countries. He is a member of the Steering Group for Going Global. He is Secretary-General of the Magna Charta Observatory. Session 5.5

David Lock