Strategic Regional Networks in Higher Education

Strategic Regional Networks in Higher Education

Mauri Kantola, Juha Kettunen, Satu Helmi
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61692-846-9.ch013
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The purpose of this study is to present a framework, which can be used to analyze the regional dimension of the institutional performance in higher education. This chapter combines strategic planning and corporate social responsibility reporting. The strategic planning of a higher education institution defines strategic objectives, which take into account educational policy, national and regional networked strategies, and the regional demand for labor. The evaluation of the external impact of an institution means that a general conceptual framework must describe the outreach and engagement of the institution with the region. The framework presented in this study includes the elements of the networked knowledge society, strategic management, global reporting initiative and quality assurance. The empirical part of this study is based on the network study of the Turku University of Applied Sciences. The framework can be used in decision making when an institution is invited to join local, national and international networks.
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2. Strategic Planning

Strategic planning entails a holistic view of the organization and its future with a clearly articulated mission, vision, strategic choices and values. The purpose of the strategy process is to produce a strategic plan and objectives. The overall strategic or the functional strategic plans may describe how an institution will support regional development in the future. The purpose of an institution is to adapt the financial and human resources to the changing environment, markets and customers to meet the expectation of stakeholders (Johnson & Scholes, 2002; Steiss, 2003). Higher education institutions are moving from the traditional public orientation to the more market oriented approach which emphasizes the engagement in its environment, outreach, and regional development (Kettunen & Kantola, 2006).

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