Effective higher education institutions (HEIs) are seen as an important building block in the development of a country. Unfortunately HEIs have come under increased pressure because of the worldwide trend of massification of higher education when at the same time students look for better quality education, while concurrently educational budgets are under pressure because of the economic crisis. This puts a great strain on HEIs who are forced to do more, of higher quality, in different ways, and with less resources. HEIs who manage to thrive in these challenging circumstances, by paying equal attention to increasing quality of both teaching and the internal organization, are known as high performing HEIs (HPHEIs). In this article an evidence-based management approach is applied for creating high performing higher education institutions (HPHEIs). Thus HEIs can, based on facts, make wellfounded decisions in regard to the way forward when transforming themselves into HPHEIS.
Traditionally, much research in the field of education has been done into increasing the quality of the teaching at a higher education institution and, to a lesser degree, the quantity and quality of research output. This is in itself no wonder, as effective Higher Education Institutions are generally seen as an important building block in the development of a country. At the same time, the quality of Higher Education Institution teaching has come under increased pressure because of the worldwide trend of massification and internalization of higher education in which there are more and more (international) students looker for better and better education, while concurrently educational budgets are under pressure because of the economic crisis. This puts a great strain on Higher Education Institutions who are forced to do more, of higher quality, in different ways, and with less resources. More specifically, Higher Education Institutions have to deal with the concurrent challenges of managing expansion of the student body, with the accompanying required increases in facilities, staff, lectures, and courses; maintaining and improving the quality of teaching, facilities, and curriculum; obtaining sustainable funding; improving labor market attractiveness of students; increasing managerial and staff capacities, and innovation in both teaching and managing the organization. Some scholars even predict “an avalanche that is coming” which is going to change the education sector fundamentally, because three fundamental challenges need to be addresses all round the world:
- universities and new providers need to ensure education for employability;
- the link between cost of education and quality of education (and research) need to be broken; and
- the entire learning ecosystem needs to change in order to support alternative providers and the future of work.
- HEIs who manage to thrive in these changing environment and achieve sustainable high results will be known as High Performing Higher Education Institutions….