1st Edition

Building Better Universities
Strategies, Spaces, Technologies

ISBN 9780415859325
Published December 2, 2014 by Routledge
258 Pages

USD $46.95

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Book Description

Building Better Universities provides a wide-ranging summary and critical review of the increasing number of groundbreaking initiatives undertaken by universities and colleges around the world. It suggests that we have reached a key moment for the higher education sector in which the services, location, scale, ownership, and distinctiveness of education are being altered dramatically, whether universities and colleges want it or not. These shifts are affecting traditional assumptions about both the future ‘shape’ of higher education institutions, and the roles of—and relationships between—learners, teachers, researchers, managers, businesses, communities and other stakeholders.

Building Better Universities aims to bridge the gap between educational ideas about what the university is, or should be ‘for’, and its day-to-day practices and organisation. It roams across strategic, operational, and institutional issues; space planning and building design; and technological change, in order to bring together issues that are often dealt with separately. By analysing the many challenges faced by higher education in the contemporary period, and exploring the various ways universities and colleges are responding, this powerful book aims to support a ‘step-change’ in debates over the future of higher education, and to enable senior managers and faculty to develop more strategic and creative ways of enabling effective twenty-first-century learning in their own institutions.

Table of Contents

List of Figures

List of Textboxes

Introduction: the shifting boundaries of higher education

Chapter 1: Re-shaping universities and colleges

Theme 1.1: Alternative universities?

Theme 1.2: Radical restructuring

Theme 1.3 Enhancing the student offer

Chapter 2: New patterns of public and private competition and collaboration

Theme 2.1: Hybrid non-profit and for-profit entities

Theme 2.2: Social enterprise and civic engagement

Theme 2.3: Widening participation

Theme 2.4: Improving student performance

Chapter 3: Responding to internationalization

Theme 3.1: International collaborations

Theme 3.2: International networks

Theme 3.3: Developing global citizens

Chapter 4: Changing learning spaces

Theme 4.1: Comprehensive campus re-design

Theme 4.2: Re-designing processes

Theme 4.3: Creating hybrid spaces

Chapter 5: Beyond virtual learning environments

Theme 5.1: The massification of eLearning

Theme 5.2: Seamless virtual and physical integration

Theme 5.3: Increasing digital literacy

Theme 5.4: Using big data

Theme 5.5: Open badging

Chapter 6: The implications of new technologies for learning

Theme 6.1: Changing learning and teaching methods?

Theme 6.2: Open sourcing and sharing

Theme 6.3: Embodied learning

Conclusion: Learning in a post-university world?

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Jos Boys is a freelance consultant. She was previously Teaching Fellow in the Faculty of Art, Design and Social Sciences at Northumbria University, UK. Jos trained originally in architecture, followed by many years’ experience teaching design and contextual studies in a variety of higher educational institutions at different levels. She has also worked as an educational technologist and academic developer, developing ways to enhance learning through both technology-rich and pedagogically sound resources and delivery. She has been a consultant for the UK Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) and has written several books on higher education, including Towards Creative Learning Spaces: re-thinking the architecture of post-compulsory education (Routledge 2010) and, with Peter Ford, The e-Revolution and Post-Compulsory Education: Using business models to deliver quality education (Routledge 2007).


"This book is an indispensable compendium of issues and information for confronting the challenges of higher education in the 21st century."

Barbara Tversky, Professor of Psychology and Education, Columbia Teachers College, and Professor Emerita of Psychology, Stanford University, USA

"Building Better Universities addresses an uncertain and volatile global higher education environment, surveying the key educational, technological, and financial challenges confronting universities today. The author displays impressive critical thinking about the history and purpose of higher education, as well as knowledge of contemporary developments at campuses internationally as institutions pursue viable futures."

Professor Peter Jamieson, Strategic Adviser Learning Environment Design, The University of Melbourne, Australia