If we want to start producing Nobel Prize winners, we’d better start moving:
When I published my first book on World Class Universities two years ago, I certainly did not anticipate the world-wide exposure it received. Now, I sometimes worry about having contributed to raising expectations about the importance of world-class universities.
When I visited Nigeria last year, I was told that the country wanted to have 20 World Class Universities by 2020. Recently, Sri Lanka announced that it would increase its higher education budget in the hope of having at least one world-class university. Today we launched The Road to Academic Excellence, a new book I edited with Professor Phil Altbach, and already, the burden of guilt regarding the possible consequences of the new book haunt me.
This new book brings together nine case-studies, telling the story of 11 institutions undergoing a complex transformational process as they strive to become world-class research universities, either by following the “upgrading” or the “starting anew” path to academic excellence.
The sample of institutions reviewed is too small to be conclusive, but the case studies suggest that establishing a new institution is a relatively faster and more effective approach to becoming a world-class research university. Still, new research universities face special challenges. They need to sufficiently innovative and represent a convincing alternative to existing institutions to attract top academics and good students. Indeed, the book identifies global talent search strategies among the most powerful accelerating factors for establishing world-class research universities.
The book’s available here.