Cooperation

Results of the Benchmarking exercise: «Critical success factors for International Cooperation through University Networks» and processes for future collaboration between EUCEN and RECLA.

I) CRITICAL SUCCESS FACTORS

The group of 25 people was divided in groups of 5/6 persons (a moderator in each group). The different groups of people identified critical success factors in each of the tables.  Afterwards, each group selected in its table the 5 more voted critical success factors and in plenary session these 5 factors from each group were written in a general pannel grouping them within the 5 categories selected the day before (political factors, management, technology, products and marketing and research).  Finally, each person voted individually and so 1 critical success factor was identified as the most important in each of the categories.

1. POLITICAL FACTORS
- Identification of common ground

- Compatibility

- Synergy

- Clear goals

- (Quality)

2. MANAGEMENT
- Identify Real needs of co-operation

- Clearly defined target and responsibilities

- Good management structure (people and planning)

- Capability of motivating people

- Win win relation

- Added value for each one

- Clear projects

- Similar vision and objectives

- Tolerate and integrate different points of view

3. TECHNOLOGY
Identification of pilot projects

- Compatibility

- (Quality)

4. PRODUCTS AND MARKETING
- Mutual advantages and perceiving by members

- (Quality)

5. RESEARCH
- (Quality)

II) PROCESSES

Each group identified processes for implementing the critical sucess factor attributed to each group.  Each participant wrote the name of his/her institution beside the process that he/she considered does well as institution.  Each member of the group selected the more important processes within the list.  The group selected the more voted processes.  Those persons that said they did well these processes answered the questions from the rest of the persons of his/her group. Finally, in plenary session, the more voted processes were put in common as well as
the institutions that do them well and a debate between the identified persons (institutions) and the whole group was carried out.

Codes of universities:

SU - Stirling University (Diana Mary Kent)
AURN - Asociacion de universidades (Daniel Bessa)

PT - Politecnico di Torino (Vincenzo Pozzolo)

UR - U. del Rosario (Jeannette Velez)

PXII - Universite Paris XII (Didier Nicolle)

USP - U. de Sao Paulo (Guilherme Ary Plonski)

UPF - U. Pompeu Fabra (Antoni Angerri)

ULG - U. de Liege (Victor de Kosinsky)

UB - U. de Belgrano (Miguel Angel Moragues)

UPC - U. Politecnica Catalunya (Francisco Sole Parellada)

KUL - Katholieke U. Leuven (Karel de Witte)

UNAM - U. Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (Eva Laura Garcia Gonzalez)

AA - Abo Akademi U. (Paula Lindroos)

UOC - U. Operta de Catalunya (Gabriel Ferrate and Francesc Pedro)

UMC - U. de Mogi das Cruzes (Beatriz Leonel Scavazza)

UIB - U. Bergen (Daniel Apollon)

DCU - Dublin City U. (Chris Curran)

 

1. IDENTIFICATION OF COMMON GROUND

- Understand the need of the potential partner (5 votes) - PXII, SU, USP, UPF
- Accept and value the difference (4 votes) - SU

- Establish mutual confidence (3 votes) - SU, UPF, UlG

- Familiarize mentality and attitude of partner (3 votes) - SU, UlG

- Define needs (2 votes)

- Define complementary areas (2 votes) - PXII, UPF

- Formalize the strategy of each member before meeting (2 votes) - UPF

- Establish common platforms to facilitate cooperation (2 votes) - UlG,

PXII

- Cooperate in the building of common knowledge base (1 vote) - USP

- Building common routines and traditions culture (1 vote)

- Negotiate

- Systematic exchange of information

- Promote member meetings for specific subjects - USP

 

2. IDENTIFY REAL NEEDS OF CO-OPERATION

- Create realistic expectations (4 votes) - AURN
- Clarify mutual advantages (4 votes) - AURN, UB

- Organise regular meetings (3 votes) - UPC

- Joint activities (3 votes) - UNAM

- Identify opportunities for common actions (3 votes) - UB

- Create network/forum for exchange (2 votes) - UPC, KUL, UNAM

- Increasing financial resources (2 votes)

- Analysis of comparative SWOT (2 votes) - AURN, KUL, UPC

- Prioritize proposals (1 vote) - UNAM

- Develop common procedures (1 vote)

- Appraisal of former activities - KUL

- Benchmarking

- Enhancing innovation & creativity - UPC

- Change / adapt mentalities & attitudes

3. IDENTIFICATION OF PILOT PROJECTS

- Public and visible results and possible diffusion (4 votes) - PT, UNAM, AA
- Specialized / dedicated personel (3 votes) - AA

- Knowing needs and capabilities (3 votes) - UOC

- Human Resources (WG) (2 votes) - UNAM, UOC

- Selecting projects with added value and other criteria (2 votes) - PT, UOC

- Identify the cost-benefit relationship (1 vote) - PT UNAM

- Fulfill the objectives of the network (1 vote)

- Validating (external recognition) with sponsorship (1 vote) - UNAM

- Must have a clear vision (1 vote)

- Open meeting place for ideas

- Proper Channeling of Ideas/Suggestions between top and bottom of organizations

- Brainstorming and benchmarking

- Motivating creativity

- Pressure/ opinion groups

4. MUTUAL ADVANTAGES PERCEIVING BY MEMBERS

- Maximise political influence (5 votes) - UMC, UR, UIB
- Stimulated innovative ideas (4 votes) - DCU, UOC, UIB

- Sharing information (4 votes) - UR, UMC, UIB, DCU

- Involve academical authority (3 votes) - UMC UOC UR

- Cooperation research (2 votes) - DCU, UOC, UIB, UR

- Define options and alternatives (2 votes) - UR UIB

- Common marketing (1 vote)

- Quality concentration (1 vote) - UMC

- Equivalences: mutual recognition (1 vote) - UR

- Developping common tools (1 vote)

- Publishing (1 vote) - UOC, UIB

- Set a critical mass (1 vote) - UMC

- Exchange of courses - UR

- Mobility of students and profs - UMC

- Raise status of CE

- Have a good communication - UR

- Share the excellence of each one

- Economy of scale and shire

- Avoid needless duplication

- Rooting of resource's

 

Strategies and success factors of international cooperation
Dr. Andris Barblan, CRE


A.  CRITERIA OF SUCCESS

A1.  The first question concerns the ends, the success expected from internationalisation:

 is international co-operation to be a success for:
 -  students - out-going or in-coming
 -  teachers - receiving or sending students
 -  administrative personnel - upgrading and staff development
 -  the institution in terms of

   - scientific development
   -  academic prestige (vis-à-vis other institutions of H. E.)
   -  regional integration (vis-à-vis local government, business partners, economic stakeholders, etc)


 Depending on the answer(s), the evaluation criteria will change considerably.

A2. The second question relates to the scope, that is the extent of internationalisation:

 does international co-operation cover:
 -  bilateral/multilateral links with neighbouring countries
 -  exchanges with EU/ other European  countries
 -  relations with other continents of the world
 -  specific themes (languages, social sciences, hard sciences)
 -  specific levels of interest (undergraduate, post-graduate, research training)
 -  select members of specific networks of collaboration (engineering - SEFI,  business - EFMD, Santander, etc)

 Depending on the coverage, bench-marking partners will be very different.

A3. The third question relates to internal commitment for internationalisation:

 does internationalisation interest :
 - special departments
 - specific faculties
 - specific research institutes
 - marginal groups
 - central decision-makers
 - transversal organisations (students, staff, stakeholders)

 Depending on the "banalisation" of cooperation, institutional profiling becomes possible.

A4.  The fourth question relates to the means available for internationalisation:

 is internationalisation supported by :
 -  an information system computing

   - demands for  international contacts (inside & outside)
   -  provisions of international contacts (inside & outside)
   -  mobility development (projects, people outside; outsiders inside)
   -  mobility costs
 -  stimulation resources coming from
 -  the institution
 -  the stakeholders
 -  national, European/ international programmes
 -  cultural and/or linguistic preparatory education
 -  facilities and equipment (also in terms of web, multimedia, distance learning)
 -  reward system for internationalisation activities (in time, money, advantages) -  career development possibilities (for staff or for students : job search)

Depending on the resources available, internationalisation can become credible.

B.  STRATEGIES OF SUCCESS

B1. Does all this make a strategy ? Indeed, putting together the criteria just mentioned makes a static picture of what there is in the institution in terms of international co-operation. It does not represent the institution's capacity for hange and its potential for development, a dynamic approach. Strategies should express leadership ability and the dynamics of institutional transformation in the university.

 In other words, any institutional strategy means that the university converges round its

- knowledge of what it wants
- ability to do what it wants
- will to do what it wants
- daring to do what it wants.
 These steps represent a logical sequence which is rarely followed in an academic reality characterised by devolution of responsibilities, scattered patterns of decision-making, and a system of dispersed allegiance that leads to a relatively low sense of common purpose.

B2. Formulation and monitoring of institutional policies. "Institutional policies are the matrix, as it were, of strategic management practice. It is by ensuring their preparation, formulation and reformulation and, then, their implementation that management strives to instil into the attitudes, activities, organisation and exercise of leadership, the kind of critical forward-looking spirit and method of communicating that is at the heart of collective learning about change.  ...  Within the established strategic framework and as the result of the evaluations carried out, the university has to make choices  ...  which must always include provisions ... which should be an incentive to undertake them and support ther implementation (in terms of aims, structures, norms, relations, the collection and allocation of resources or modes of operation)."

 This global approach - when applied to internationalisation - means for the institution:

These were also the implicit questions asked by the European Commission when it required those institutions asking support from the SOCRATES programme to draft a European policy statement setting their mobility policy into the wider context of their other European commitments, in teaching and in research. These 1583 EPSs, as received by the Commission in 1996, were analysed by the Centre for Scientific Research on Education and Employment of the University of Kassel, under CRE sponsorship, to find common elements in European strategy- making at institutional level. (cf. CREdoc n°4, 1998)

B3.  To position - and compare - the universities' international activities, literature proposes a simple diagramme, using two axes, the horizontal one opposing educational aims to economic constraints, the vertical one confronting political objectives with cultural expectations.

political
 
 

educational   economic
 
 

cultural

For example, were the institution to choose the example taken from the CREguide, page 64, this diagramme would extend considerably towards the political and the cultural, a suggestion reading:

CONCLUSIONS
 Any bench-marking exercise can  Then, after completing this introspection, comparisons with successful competitors can occur to understand possible improvements in one's own particular context - and what it means in terms of strategy (long-term development aims) above and beyond short-term implementation (efficiency driven comparisons), in other words looking at the what rather than at the how as, in strategic thinking, the how depends on the what rather than the usual contrary.
 

SANTANDER GROUP BENCHMARKING EXERCICE

WHAT?

HHRR
Sufficient Technical Staff To Support Ic
Involving Academics In Development Of Programmes 

Motivation Of Staff 

Financial And Human Resources

Dissemination Of Good Practice To Be Used In Other Parts Of The World

Motivated Individuals 

Effective International Office

Foreign Staff

Integration Of Teaching/Research
10
8

8

5

3

3

2

1

0

 

LEADERSHIP
Clear Support >From The Top 
Encouragement From The Top 
Commitment Of The Chief Executive (Rector) 
19
0
0

 

LANGUAGE SKILLS
Language Skills 
Language Preparation 
Language 
21
1
0

 
 
 
 

FINANCIAL ASPECTS
Adequate Financial Support (Internal And External) 
Financial Resources 
(12)
(9)

 

OTHERS
Strong Links With Regional And Social Partners 
Differencies Between Universities 
A University Policy 
(7)
(1)
(9)

 

HOW?

Sufficient Technical Staff To Support Ic
Provide the right structure 
Rewarding policy 

Responsability of staff 

Links between persons inside and outside the technical staff 

Staff mobility

Opportunities for career development

Continuing training 

Management qualities 

Give the right number of people

Linking 10 to other 10 for good practice and information

Adequate selection 

Facilitate between the tecnical top and the technical faculty staff 

To open the interface between the technical and acadeic staff

Adequate IT network infrastructure (eg. Virtual science park)

Create enough lobbying in Brussels (eg.SG office) 

Influence the EC to understand how International relations offices work 

Flexibility in job description

Flexibility in organisational terms within the university

Continuing education in IT

Mobility of staff members within the SG
10
5

4

3

3

3

3

1

1

1

1

0

0

0

0

0
0
0

0

0

0

 
 
Clear Support From The Top
Develop a policy plan 
International activities part of promotion criteria 

Provide the budget to stimulating international cooperation 

Organise regular meetings between top and international office 

Show your own commitment

Rectors prizes for contribution to internationalisation

International officer always part of management team

Internationalisation of external examiners

Institute a total quality plan

Training of the staff in international management

Organise communication/Presentation(Motivation)

Organise regular meetings

Organise the interface between the top and the bottom

Identify individual leaders

Facilitate Int. Exp. (recruitment of staff, int. Expr. Of top staff, to extend faculty capability of internationalisation 

Create internationalisation symbols

Part of rectors job description or manifesto
19
7
6

5

5

5

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0
0

0


 
 
 
Language Skills          (21)
Commitment of the universities of "languages for all" 
Development of a high quality language centre

Language for specific purposes

Teacher training courses abroad including cultural aspects

International staff

Publicise benefits of study abroad year (eg. For employment opportunities)

Mobility for all

All university departments and services should have people with language skills

Political strategy

Computer assisted language learning

Lectures in foreign languages

Use text books in other languages

Obligate language courses and make them cheap

Integrate foreign students and native students

Regional partnership n

Obligatory included in curriculum

Encourage external (industry) funds for language courses

Facilitate (obligatory) foreign language (foreign country) for Ph.D. candidates

Facilitate friendly communication to foreign students

Opportunity to practice

Writing skills

International communication circles

Native speaking

Variety of languages including minority

School commitment for languages
 21
6

4

3

3

2

2

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

 
 
Adequate Financial Support (Internal And External) 
Concentrate internal resources resources 
Identify sources of money

Organise activities to raise extra money 

External fund raising on an organised basis (relations to foundations, induce sponsors, marketig)

Creating a lobby for financial support

Reprioritise the budget objectives 

Stimulate the participation of international companies 

Alliance building 

Flexibility in university budget 

Alumni organisations 

Scholarships for incoming students

Share costs of international programmes between several universities 

Creation of an office for external services (industry, technology) 

University lottery 

Charge the students 

Friends of the university 

Industry contracts and patents 
12
5
4

4

1
2

2

3

3

3

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0