Study on Innovation in Higher Education

February 2014

Study on Innovation in Higher Education

In meeting the objectives of the Europe2020 Strategy, European institutions assigned a central role to higher education. The European Commission (EC), in subsequent communications released in 2011, 2012 and 2013, stressed the importance of education – and higher education in particular – as a key enabler of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.

This study is firmly framed within this policy context, providing primary evidence on many of the themes that recent EC communications touch upon, as far as innovation in higher education is concerned.

The report aims in particular to contribute to a better understanding of recent developments affecting higher education and provide evidence of how innovation can support higher education in times of change. The study builds on four overarching research questions.

  • What are the main challenges facing higher education and driving innovation in this sector?
  • What are the key differences in terms of regional and institutional contexts for achieving successful innovation in higher education for different constituencies?
  • How does innovation in higher education involve key system components and how does it influence – directly and indirectly – the system functions? What are the key processes and the roles of the key stakeholders in implementing innovation?
  • What are the major outcomes of innovation in higher education and what main bottlenecks and blockages exist in achieving them?

Authors: John Brennan, Steve Ryan, Marina Ranga, Simon Broek, Niccolo Durazzi & Bregtje Kamphuis

Client: European Commission - DG for Education and Culture

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