Factors Affecting Sustainable Higher Educational Partnerships

Factors Affecting Sustainable Higher Educational Partnerships

Christopher John Bamber (Organisational Learning Centre (Europe) Ltd, UK) and Enis Elezi (Teesside University Business School, UK)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 20
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-4543-0.ch004
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Abstract

The globally competitive environment of higher education is exemplified by many UK universities, private education institutions, and public colleges entering into collaborative agreements with partner organisations. No more is this movement seen than with private higher education institutions (HEIs) entering into collaborative arrangements with many stakeholders, including new partners once seen as competitors. Those entrepreneurial-minded executives leading and governing HEIs have thus seen partnerships as strategies for business sustainability in a collaborative economy, giving them competitive advantage and enhancing their strategic intent. This chapter provides a critical and useful review of HEI knowledge management (KM) factors that enable successful stages of collaboration. Within this chapter, sustainability practices in higher education partnerships are reviewed through examination of KM factors and discussions of a private HEI using case study examples from their sustainability journey.
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Introduction

This chapter provides the reader with a deep understanding of the factors that are affecting successful collaborations within the Higher Education sector. Moreover, the chapter focuses on how those factors contribute to sustainable higher education partnerships operating in a global economy. On completion of reading this chapter the following objectives shall be achieved:

  • An understanding of the global context of Higher Education (HE)

  • An appreciation of the need for HE partnerships

  • A familiarization with the stages of partnership development

  • Understanding of Knowledge Management factors (KM) for Sustainable HEI Collaborations

  • The ability to assess a HE collaborative project using Knowledge Management Factors (KM) for Sustainable HEI Collaborations as a framework of analysis

  • Recognizing the Socio-Economic impact of HEIs and its relationship with Social Capital

Thus, this chapter provides knowledge and understanding of the factors affecting successful collaborations within the HE sector and aims to plug the research gap that exists between theories of collaboration and the realities of practice in the context of the HE global domain. In this respect, a successful collaboration is one that promotes sustainability practices to the partners, through adoption and appreciation of KM factors, for sustainable HEI collaborations as shown through the case study examples included in this chapter.

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The Growing Need For Sustainable Higher Education Partnerships

The population of the world is growing fast and knowledge transfer through education is key to global development. Likewise, Chatlani (2018) makes reference to the UNESCO Institute of Statistics when highlighting that by 2030 it is expected to have an increase of around 120 million students attending higher education programs. This growth in the student population presents significant opportunities and challenges for the executives of HEIs. Significantly, Altbach, Reisberg, and Rumbley (2019), Durnin (2019), and Atack (2019) explain that the increasing demand in the HE sector, student mobility and immigration policies, and the rise of non-traditional students, together with the technological developments, encourage HEIs to reconsider their business models. Moreover, in order to remain competitive and maintain business continuity and sustainability, research undertaken by Ilieva, Killingley, Tsiligiris, and Usher (2019), Shattock (2019), and Hunt and Boliver (2019) argue that HEIs need to become more resilient and focus on enhancing the ability of their organizations to learn and thus reinvent their strategies. Additionally, due to the scarcity of resources, lack of market knowledge and difficulties in budget availability necessary to operate an HEI, many HE executives have considered collaborative projects as alternatives to overcome such challenges (Stewart, Witte, & Witte, 2019).

The development of partnerships between HEIs presents opportunities to add value to the existing HE services by exchanging institutional knowledge. The exchange and management of institutional knowledge are of paramount importance when it comes to facilitating, and later on, consolidating, the collaboration between HEIs. Hence, elements of Knowledge Management (KM) take prominence in being able to understand how HEIs could work collaboratively in a knowledge economy with the purpose of developing and implementing sustainable HEI strategies.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Social Capital: The collective value of human networks in a society, group or partnership that is connected with a common goal, demographic or geographic sense.

Higher Education Institution: This is a tertiary education establishment providing academic programs leading to an academic degree. It could be a public or private institution and be either not for profit or a profit-based entity.

Student Learner Journey: The journey that students progress through from responding to a course advertisement with an inquiry to the award of qualification and becoming a member of the institutions' alumni. This journey would typically include processing of course applications, enrolment on course, payment of fees, attending classes, completing assignments and sitting exams, non-attendance during illness or accidents, or failure to achieve through other mitigating circumstances, progressing from year to year, graduating with an award and continuing to support via the alumni.

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