Document Type

Book Chapter


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Publication Details

in SEFI and TKK Dipoli: European Continuing Engineering Education:Conceptualising the Lessons learned, 2009 pp.75-90. Published with the permission of the Eruopen Society for Engineering Education


This paper is a short summary of a research thesis submitted for a doctoral degree in education in late 2008. The substantive issue investigated was the response of a large higher education institute (HEI) in Ireland, the Dublin Institute of Technology and hereafter referred to as the Institute, to the demands for change. The research was undertaken by an experienced academic from inside the organisation. What is happening in this institute may be significant to others because change in higher education is a key debate throughout the world at present. The research study shows that stakeholders in the Institute acknowledge that change is necessary and some of the practices from both entrepreneurial and corporate universities are seen to be appropriate for certain activities. But an HEI contemplating change cannot simply lift a model that may have proven successful elsewhere and transplant it into its own organisation. The culture and power residing within the organisation must be acknowledged. The US entrepreneurial model is shown to be unlikely to be successful in this HEI because of its inability to raise money on the scale of the successful US model. The corporate model using managerialist practice used in parts of the UK, Australia and at least one university in Ireland is also firmly rejected by stakeholders in this case study. It is concluded that a European style of University with Collegial Innovation may well be appropriate to this HEI. Innovation and collegiality would increase with bureaucracy seriously reduced but retained within a couple of specified activities. It was thought that some of the financial aspects, particularly budgetary allocations needed to become more businesslike or corporate. The qualitative methodology undertaken for this research may also be of interest to readers and is described briefly in this paper.

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