by Alexandra den Heijer
Having recovered from a jetlag (of 9 hours) I look back on a very inspiring visit to both the United States and Canada. My lecture (and presence) at the SCUP conference in the US introduced me to a new network of campus experts, and reunited me with some old North American friends. My publisher Eburon could tell that I visited North America by the increased number of overseas book orders.
the SCUP-46 venue at National Harbor, MD - accommodation more than 1,400 people who attended the conference
my book at the SCUP-46 conference bookstore (when there were still some copies left...) among 80 other books on higher education or related topics
What I learned is that higher education in North America and Europe is very vulnerable to more budget cuts: we are already struggling with large groups of students, less time and resources per student – resources that include the physical campus.
Reputations of higher education institutions and their alumni are at stake. Joining forces and sharing space with other stakeholders (other universities, private parties, public authorities) is one of the solutions which I presented at the conference and I elaborate upon in my book. This requires a culture change on campus.
Nonetheless, more political attention for higher education as one of the most important foundations for the economy is vital. This is the same reason why my book “Managing the university campus” starts with the quote (Derek Bok, former Harvard University president): “If you think education is expensive, try ignorance”… I added that the same goes for the campus…
[for the Preface of “Managing the university campus”, see ABOUT THE BOOK ].
P.S. Our visit to Canada was not business but pleasure this time, even though we happened to visit the campus of University of British Columbia (UBC) and will definitely visit Simon Fraser University (and UniverCity, see “SFU” on Wikipedia.org) our next visit to Vancouver and West Canada.