Universities in Change: As a Brief Introduction

Chapter
Part of the Innovation, Technology, and Knowledge Management book series (ITKM)

Abstract

Universities have always been changing. Ever since the inception of the first universities at the end of the twelfth century universities have responded to changing societal, economic, and political contexts. Cumulatively this process of change created a university system at the turn of the twenty first century, that is completely different from the system of centuries ago. This can be exemplified in three basic characteristics of the university system (Brockliss 2000). First, the size of the university sector has increased. For instance, the number of European universities has grown from 40 in the 1400s to 150 in the early twentieth century. In the mid-1980s there were 500 universities in Europe and this number has been growing continuously through higher education institutions obtaining university status, for instance in the UK . There the number of universities has increased by a factor of 2.5 since the early 1980s. Second, and not completely unrelated, the number of students has increased continuously. Brockliss (2000) identifies three growth periods, the thirteenth century, the sixteenth to the early seventeenth century, and the late 19th to the early twentieth century, which, however, does not compare at all to the growth experienced since the 1960s. While in the sixteenth century about 2.5 % of the male population enjoyed what now is a tertiary education (Brockliss 2000), it is currently in the Western Economies slightly less than 30 % of all adults (OECD 2010).

Keywords

Europe OECD Metaphor 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Internationale Hochschule GmbHMCI Management Center Innsbruck-The Entrepreneurial SchoolInnsbruckAustria

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