A lot is expected of UK universities. One demand that has – since the mid-19th Century – competed with the central mission of teaching undergraduates and pursuing excellence in research, is the demand that universities support growth and innovation in the economy.
This demand has recently become more pronounced following the publication of various government policy documents such as the Wilson Review. Following on from our work on The Edgeless University, this project examines how UK higher education institutions can respond to this demand through adopting ‘open’ approaches to various activities.
At the moment, UK higher education institutions undertake a number of activities that support growth and innovation:
Open Landscape will lay out how these activities might be augmented by adopting various ‘open approaches’, both at the level of institutions and the sector as a whole. For the purposes of this report, these approaches comprise:
The open landscape these approaches populate is a fast-changing one driven not only by technological change but also policy. For example, the current government has made plain its support for openness through various reports and White Papers, not least the recent Finch Review of open access and the Cabinet Office White Paper on open data.
The final report for this project will be published as a JISC Digital Infrastructure Directions Report in late autumn 2012. The report will provide information and guidance to institutions on how to navigate the open landscape, with a focus on supporting innovation and growth. The report will also outline policy directions that will need to be followed if the UK higher education sector is to safely grasp the opportunities open approaches seem to offer.
This project is funded by JISC, the Joint Information Services Committee.
British universities enjoy a position as international leaders in higher education. But their slowness to adapt to new technology and social media, as well as funding threats and fierce global competition, have put universities under intense pressure. The Edgeless University argues that online and DIY learning can create 'edgeless universities' where information, skills and research are accessible far beyond the campus walls.