Voorzitter College van Bestuur
In: Uncategorized22 Jan 2013
On Friday 18 January, the VSNU board (Algemeen Bestuur) discussed global trends that are impacting the world of higher education in the context of a strategy process commissioned by the VSNU (association of Dutch Universities) for the remainder of 2013. I very much welcomed the opportunity to review and discuss with my colleagues how we all see the world changing and what that means for universities, as a whole, and the education and research processes in particular. There are many very relevant trends in the world out there. Disruptive technology is a very obvious one. Another interesting development is the emergence of science parks. The world’s first incubator for tech-based spin-outs was built in Stanford over sixty years ago and it has been a huge success. Increasingly, universities are also looking at social science parks to stimulate the growing field of public innovation. I personally find the idea of a social science park/ public policy lab intriguing - an experimental workshop that prototypes new forms of public service delivery. Perhaps an idea for the new LDE School of Governance which is currently being scoped by Erasmus University in our strategic alliance with Leiden and Delft? We further discussed shifting power relations, the role of universities in delivering on social mobility and employability expectations, the impact of world climate and economic crisis and the responses of unversities, as well as domestic trends around integrity, quality assurance and branding. All of these trends are relevant not only at a national level, but also for our own current internal strategy process. And even if the outcome of this process is ‘yet another report’, as some would anticipate, in my view the power is in the process of thinking through the unthinkable, and preparing for an appropriate response.
Pauline van der Meer Mohr is president of the Executive Board and is responsible for general administrative matters, such as the relationship with the Board of Trustees and the University Council. She focuses on the strategic policy, international affairs and external contacts, including the Rotterdam region, industry and other knowledge institutions.