Dr Craig Gaskell and Elizabeth Hayton
University of Hull
Stimulus Paper, April 2014
As UK higher education becomes increasingly globalised and the impact of domestic reforms take hold, the sector finds itself in a period of unprecedented change. As new organisational forms begin to emerge the concept of a campus and even that of a university is in a state of flux. Currently many universities have multiple campuses. Institutions looking to sharpen up their strategic focus will question their approach to satellite campuses. Some may choose to consolidate and detach from them whereas others will see satellites, both new and existing, as playing an important role in a new future.
This stimulus paper discusses the roles of satellite sites. Some example approaches are illustrated and the policy context is considered. A number of strategic, structural and leadership challenges are highlighted, together with thoughts on possible future trajectories.
There is a legacy of higher education satellite sites from the previous two decades and while some are flourishing, the purpose of others is no longer entirely clear. There is much re-thinking to be done in the sector and this will involve reassessing the nature, role and purpose of satellite operations, both at home and overseas. Some institutions will have a legacy of satellites to contend with, while others will view the development of new and existing satellite campuses as major opportunities. Future thinking should be informed by knowledge and experience of the past. Although there is clearly much experience to be drawn upon, there is very little published in this area, particularly in relation to the UK.
This stimulus paper discusses the roles of satellite sites now and in the future. Some example approaches are illustrated and the policy context is considered. Most emphasis is on the UK, although some international examples are included. A number of strategic, structural and leadership challenges are highlighted, together with thoughts on possible future directions. The paper builds on the general findings of the Leadership Foundation-funded Understanding Satellite Campuses1 project completed in July 2011, and further follow-up work that has been undertaken subsequently.
Following a brief look at the definition of satellite campuses, this paper considers the current situation with a focus on recent changes and developments, setting the scene for the discussion of future scenarios and the leadership challenges associated with satellite campuses. The final section looks to the future and outlines possible directions for satellite sites.
1 Gaskell (2011)
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