Book Review :
Reinventing Higher Education
They should never try payday loans without direct deposit see you may keep your wage.

ISBN No. : 1934742872
Wildavsky,B., Kelly,P., & Carey,K.
They should never try payday loans without direct deposit see you may keep your wag
Reviewed By : Shelina Bhamani, Nasreen Hussain
They should never try payday loans without direct deposit see you may keep your wage.
Published On : 14/02/2013
Published By : Harvard Education Press: Cambridge
They should never try payday loans without direct deposit see you may keep your wag
Genre : Adventure

Review :

Reinventing Higher Education is a paperback edition book comprising of 288 pages. This book has been edited by Ben Wildavsky, Andrew P. Kelly, and Kevin Carey and is published by Harvard Education Press Cambridge, Massachusetts. The book consists of a detailed introduction followed by eight chapters addressing the major theme of the book and it ends with a comprehensive conclusion. The book focuses on higher education and learning sector and for the respective stakeholders. Consequently, the language and the terms used in this book are for the levels of higher education, researchers and university management. The first chapter of the book starts with a US based need and arguments of higher learning and its quality. This preamble may perhaps indicate the readers a perspective that the book focuses on American higher education sector only. Hence, this may not be a smart move that authors take to start this global issue with a limited country based case study. However, the readers then get to know that although this book centered around a case study in American higher learning context but the relevant issues can been seen in global context of higher learning as well. This book sets out core theme of “innovation” (p.1) where the authors argue that higher education sector is an arising need of change and innovation. The authors further argue that American higher learning system and education has extensive communities’ involvement in terms of standards, staff, issues, credentials and titling policies and these lead to unproductivity of generating new ideas and possibilities of change. Authors in this introduction give a critique by arguing that American higher education sector has become an earning machine. They also give reference to other school of thoughts, stakeholders and maintain that , “American higher education has become…a mature enterprise: increasingly risk averse, at times self-satisfied, and unduly expensive” (p.4). These connotations are so insightful in nature that any student, faculty member and critiques from developed, developing and under developed states can personally relate to this phenomenon within their own context. Higher education these days has broadly been expressed as money making sector. Authors also blame research community of higher education in the US by highlighting lack of research studies that cater to the prevalence of innovations in higher education institutions. The book is organized on three major themes, 1) that assesses the barriers to innovation (as discussed above), 2) examines universities that have started reforming and how key stakeholders are responding to these changes, and 3) focuses on universities that are evolving with technological powers. These three major themes that this book addresses can influence many readers from the similar sector. Chapter one focusing on theme 1 talks about the barriers to innovation in the higher learningcontext of the U.S. In this chapter, the authors describe the phenomenon ofmajor challenges associated with change and innovations. Authors identify that demographic progress of having largerpopulations is of a great influence on higher learning.Furthermore, in this chapter authors elicit well defined principles of ‘innovation’. They articulate that innovation should be “supply pushed” and “demand led” (p.15). Likewise, authors have positively associated innovation with taking risks, being creative and learning through trial and error. This is a very practical thought that authors present as any reform needs stakeholders to take risks and have out of the box thinking. The most interesting part of this chapter is on presentation of levers of innovation. Here, the authors have perceptively used phrases that attract readers’ attention which also allows readers to remember all the techniques that authors have shared. The authors have provided some basic change strategies for the university management and state ministries that they need to differentiate between “Mindless mimicry to strategic differentiation, guaranteed funding versus incentive funding, responsible regulation versus restricted oversight, business models versus educational models and disjointed, lethargic innovation versus purposeful research and development” (p.37 – 38). These are very captivating debates that authors present which can really help senior management personnel or ministry representative to strategically plan new interventions. Chapter two again focusing on theme 1 that takes readers to American history of resistance to change in context of higher education and provide interesting facts and case studies related to it. In this chapter authors have logically presented paradigm shift of American higher education from classical to practical knowledge thinking. This chapter is relevant for the readers who are interested in university systems and post-secondary educational reforms. Likewise, some interesting practices have been shared for those associated with American universities. Chapter three focusing on Theme 2 identifies ways of boosting academic productivity. In this chapter authors present two reasons i.e. finance and competition and improving productivity and adapting information technology that has been a reason for lack of change and innovation. These reasons are relevant to the context of many other countries. Mainly, higher education sector suffers because of lack of funding by the ministries, quality of teaching and learning methodology and skilled faculty. This chapter brings in readers’ interest as it provides wide range of practical change and innovation plans that can be very helpful. The title of chapter four is quite interesting and makes a reader inquisitive about the phenomenon of “Rethinking the Professoriate” (p.101). This chapter focusing on Theme 2, talks about emerging staffing patterns. The concepts and strategies that are under discussion are quite global in scope. For instance, the strategy of tenure track system is commonly used in most countries’ higher education sectors. Though, there are a few strategies that provide global perspective however this chapter majorly focuses on the American patterns of staffing and gives a limited insight on bringing changes and innovation in staffing. Chapter five again focusing on Theme 2 highlights how performance and policies can be changed which can cause development. Moreover, here authors give insights about the community colleges and their contribution to educational and economic growth of a nation. Moreover, this chapter also argues that just knowing about good practices will not lead any institution towards change and innovation. It is imperative for the community colleges and bodies to work with the local bodies to bring total quality turnaround. Some concepts of nuanced values are expected to generate readers’ interest, which are associated with managing community based educational systems. Chapter six portrays innovations for “for profit” sectors and throws light upon innovation driven from the organizational cultures. In this chapter authors associate growth, governance and innovation as “A three-legged stool” (p.160). This is a strong metaphor for reflection. If any leg of the stool breaks that stool cannot stand. Similarly if any form of development i.e. growth, governance and innovation is missing in an institution it will collapse. This metaphor is discussed comprehensively throughout the chapter and can be very useful for the educational investors, for profit education societies, and university management. Likewise, one more interesting strategy that authors share is about “Client-Centered Versus Functionally Organized Student Services” (p.184). This concept highlights that traditional institutions are more structured around their clients whereby the institutions whose forte is change and innovation center around a well-established student services function. Chapter seven that focuses on Theme 3, comprehensively talks about utility and significance of technology in higher learning context and how it brings innovation in the system. Authors create a very thought-provoking discourse on the technology integration in the learning context. They talk about the significance of developing capacities of the faculty members to adapt themselves with the technological shift that has taken place in the recent years. They further state that if institutions are not ready and well equipped to transform themselves from blackboard to smart board they cannot progress in enhancing learning quality in their institutions. It is widely known that technology and online mechanism of learning comes with many challenges and financial constraints and the authors beautifully label it as “disruptive innovation” (p.214). However, disruptive innovations, according to authors, ultimately result in change and development which results in an outcome of more student intake from the market. They mention, “disruptive innovation involves bringing a simpler and less expensive product to market to serve a new set of customers. Eventually, the disruptive innovation improves in quality and begins attracting customers away from more traditional products until it becomes the leading product category in the market”. This is a very valid statement made by the and quite relevant to higher education sector. It is observed that most of the universities are now moving from face to face teaching/learning to online mode of learning. This might attract the attention of many related stakeholders and readers to explore the myths, challenges and solutions of challenges attached to technology integration in education. Chapter eight starts with an eye catching title “The Mayo Clinic of Higher Education” (p.225). This chapter demonstrates two approaches which authors consider as noteworthy practices of change and innovation. These approaches are “Groundbreaking approach” (p.226) and “The UMR Model” (p.233). These two approaches are based on case studies of a couple of American public and private universities. However, these approaches are not projected adequately by the authors and leave a sense of confusion in the readers. All the examples also are from the American educational context and do not provide global reflections to the readers. Overall, the book explains a complete turnaround process that universities can deploy to impact change and bring innovation and shares challenges attached to these. However, the book might only interest the reader from American societies and not everyone. This is not because the concepts are not globalized in nature or does not follow a common world approach but because all the examples are given from the American context. This book is highly recommended for the ministries and higher education commission across the board as well. However, readers from other part of the world might only catch interest in few chapters that discuss global themes and issues of innovation and change.. Likewise, the book is mostly text based and does not have any statistics, tables and flowcharts to make it more reader friendly.

Reference :

Wildavsky,B., Kelly,P., & Carey,K. (2011). Reinventing higher education: The promise of innovation. Harvard Education Press: Cambridge.

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