ROPS 2015

International Academic Mobility: Towards a Concentration of the Minds in Europe, by Marijk van der Wende

Marijk van der Wende

The global competition and related international academic mobility in science and research is rising. Within this context, Europe faces quantitative skills shortages, including an estimate of between 800,000 and one million researchers. Within Europe skills imbalances and mismatches increase, with a growing divergence between countries and regions, in particular between the North and South, in terms of their ability to invest and attract human and financial capital for R&D. As a result intra-European mobility is not only on the rise, but may easily turn from an intended brain...

Privatization and Access: The Chilean Higher Education Experiment and its Discontents, by Cristina González and Liliana Pedraja

Cristina González
Liliana Pedraja

President Barack Obama recently announced a proposal to eliminate tuition charges at community colleges so that everyone can easily complete the first two years of a university education. At the same time, the administration is creating new regulations to curb the worst abuses of for-profit universities. This suggests that the country has reached a turning point regarding access to higher education. There is a practical limit to privatization, and the countries that have privatized their higher education systems most aggressively, such is the case of the United States, are now...

Berkeley's New Approach to Global Engagement: Early and Current Efforts to Become More International, by Nicholas B. Dirks and Nils Gilman

Nicholas B. Dirks
Nils Gilman

This essay discusses past and current thinking about the globalization of higher education (from a U.S. point of view in particular) and a new model we are attempting to develop at the University of California, Berkeley. This essay begins with a brief narrative of the historical evolution of efforts to internationalize education, from the seventeenth century to the present day, before providing a schematic outline of efforts to create new models for the global university. From its earliest beginnings in the U.S. and elsewhere, higher education embodied important global dimensions....

The Growing Correlation Between Race and SAT Scores: New Findings from California by Saul Geiser

Saul Geiser

This paper presents new and surprising findings on the relationship between race and SAT scores. The findings are based on the population of California residents who applied for admission to the University of California from 1994 through 2011, a sample of over 1.1 million students. The UC data show that socioeconomic background factors – family income, parental education, and race/ethnicity – account for a large and growing share of the variance in students’ SAT scores over the past twenty years. More than a third of the variance in SAT scores can now be predicted by factors known at...

Restructuring Public Higher Education Governance to Succeed in a Highly Competitive Environment by James A. Hyatt

James A. Hyatt

Given diminished governmental support, competition from private counterparts, and public demands for access to services, public universities need to respond in an effective manner to take advantage of opportunities and meet the challenges of today’s highly competitive environment. A critical factor in meeting these challenges is the manner in which these institutions are governed. Today’s governance structures must enhance institutions’ ability to generate resources from multiple sources - tuition and fees, gifts from donors, governmental support, and partnerships with the private...

Research University Spaces: The Multiple Purposes of an Undergraduate Education. Steven Brint. CSHE 9.15 (October 2015)

Steven G. Brint

Students, faculty, and the public expect undergraduate education in research universities to contribute to multiple developmental purposes. While academic purposes remain pre-eminent, a singular focus on knowledge and skills development is no longer adequate. Based on data and analysis from the Student Experience in the Research University (SERU) Undergraduate Survey, this essay identifies and discusses five widely endorsed purposes of student development during the college years: social, personal, academic, civic, and economic. It also identifies the characteristics of classroom and...

LIBERALIZING THE ACADEMY: The Transformation Of Higher Education In the United States And Germany

Tobias Schulze-Cleven

Over the past two decades, public higher education has become widely recognized for its contribution to socio-economic adjustment. This paper probes its evolution in two large and affluent democracies, the United States and Germany, whose higher education systems represent distinct ideal types. The analysis argues that public authorities in both countries have liberalized their systems to spur innovation in the provision of higher education. Yet a broad convergence in associated market expansion has coincided with divergence in its modes and consequences. Tracing how the two...


Patricia A. Pelfrey

While British Romantic literature provides ample evidence of the pleasures of knowledge, it also reveals strong counter-evidence of its power to inflict a sense of intellectual impairment and diminution. This Romantic ambivalence sprang from a complex of ideas and anxieties about the potentially corrosive effects of certain kinds of education and learning on the brain, damage that could diminish cognitive vigor and distort the inner experience of identity. The collision between the image of the individual disempowered by knowledge and Enlightenment faith in its role as the engine of...


John Aubrey Douglass

The University of California became a “public trust” in 1879 as part of a larger revision of California’s Constitution approved by California voters. The University henceforth gained the exclusive power to operate, control, and administer the University of California, becoming virtually a fourth branch of state government, a "constitutional corporation . . . equal and coordinate with the legislature, the judiciary and the executive. It was a watershed moment in the history of California’s land-grant public university, fundamentally shaping the state’s subsequent development of the...

The Liberal Arts and The University by Nicholas B. Dirks

Nicholas B. Dirks

As the University of California continues to face unprecedented challenges—from state disinvestment, to attempts by the legislature to wrest control of the university, to disruption brought on by new technology, to concerns, valid or otherwise, about the value of college—university leaders must return to fundamental questions about the purposes of higher education to guide us in our decision making. With this essay, I look back at how we arrived at contemporary understandings of undergraduate education in order to show that today’s dominant debates—regarding the purpose of higher...