Ruth Levitt, RAND Europe, Helen Goreham, Leadership Foundation for Higher Education and Stephanie Diepeveen, RAND Europe
Research Series 3.1, October 2011
This report examines and analyses collaborative activity between UK higher education institutions (HEIs) and organisations external to the higher education sector. HEIs have been developing collaborative relationships for many generations, and the scale and range of these activities have increased significantly in recent years. HEIs collaborate with a broad range of partners (such as industrial or commercial organisations, arts and cultural organisations, medical services and hospitals, research institutes, public agencies, international HEIs or other organisations).
A variety of factors drive these collaborations in the UK (for example government policy, the ongoing internationalisation and globalisation of higher education and research, the growing privatisation of higher education). HEIs can take several approaches to collaboration, involving different activities, individuals and institutional levels – and they report a multitude of benefits and challenges. Collaborations enable HEIs to play a more effective role in the growth and development of knowledgebased economies and extend the scope of the activities which they carry out. There is evidence that collaborative activity is becoming more closely integrated into, and thus potentially prompting some changes to, the core structures, processes and strategic planning within HEIs. The findings from this report are based on a literature review, seven selected UK case studies and one European case.
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