Authors: Kate Ashcroft
This paper describes the expansion of the UK higher education systems since the national commission of inquiry chaired by Lord Robbins in 1962. It analyses the effects of the expansion in the UK on Government and institutional behavior and change. It documents how changes in the gender and ability profile of higher education, lower units of funding and increases in student/staff ratios (SSRs) led to the development of new ways of managing and new teaching, learning and assessment methods. It notes that HEIs were subject to more scrutiny (especially of quality) and more accountability as funding formulas and competitive systems of funding for research were introduced. Some HEIs failed and were taken over by neighboring institutions or closed. The survivors became more entrepreneurial and relied less on government funding. They competed for students of the grounds of quality and the services they offered. The accreditation of prior learning and interim qualifications enabled many disadvantaged and older students to enter higher education. The paper considers the extent that these changes may be paralleled in Ethiopia over the coming years. The paper draws on the data and findings of the Report of the Higher Education Strategy Overhaul Committee of Inquiry into Governance. Leadership and Management in Ethiopia’s Higher Education System (HESO) that was produced by a national committee of enquiry chaired by the author. It concludes that the Ethiopian higher education system should prepare itself by: The speedy operational zing of the EHESI, QAA and National Pedagogic Resources Center; instigating changes to the philosophy and methods of teaching, learning and assessment; creating quality assurance systems focused on outcomes and backed by evidence; achieving economies in other areas by rationalizing facilities, space, staff and automating and streamlining systems; preparing for possible financial instability by contingency planning and developing alternative sources of income; planning for the possibility of changes in the funding; developing more active and expert Boards; considering whether to prepare ladders of opportunity, through the design of a qualifications framework and the accreditation of experiential learning; developing marketing departments and processes to manage HEIs’ image; developing professionalized administrative support services and personnel.