Topical Collection "Idea of the University"

Quicklinks

A topical collection in Humanities (ISSN 2076-0787).

Editor

Collection Editor
Prof. Dr. Satoshi P. Watanabe

Research Institute for Higher Education, Hiroshima University, 1-2-2 Kagamiyama Higashi-Hiroshima, Hiroshima, 739-8512, Japan
Phone: +81 82 424 6232
Fax: +81 82 422 7104
Interests: higher education institutions; organizational management; staff development; university missions and functional differentiation

Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleagues,

Today's universities and colleges worldwide face growing pressures to respond to the diverse interests of various external stakeholders, typically found in commercial, societal, as well as political realms which often go beyond the boundary of any single country. On-going related agendas may include and range from preparing low-skilled youth for tomorrow's workforce to innovative creations and sustainable development of new ideas meeting societal and industrial needs, to achieving improved global visibility, as reelected in the world university rankings, through strategic implementations of national policies by the governments. Notably, these multifaceted challenges are similarly emerging in nearly every part of the globe, compelling every institution of higher education to establish itself as a distinctly identified knowledge base in order to stand out, and at the very least, maintain healthy institutional operation, in an increasingly competitive environment.

This collection provides an opportunity for discussion on transforming ideas of colleges and universities, in response to constantly changing and varied demands arising in the age of a knowledge-based society where knowledge is the key to winning the competitive edge in global markets.

Prof. Dr. Satoshi P. Watanabe
Guest Editor

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the collection website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Humanities is an international peer-reviewed Open Access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. For the first couple of issues the Article Processing Charge (APC) will be waived for well-prepared manuscripts. English correction and/or formatting fees of 250 CHF (Swiss Francs) will be charged in certain cases for those articles accepted for publication that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections.

Keywords

  • universities and colleges
  • institutional mission
  • globalization of higher education
  • higher education and community partnership
  • MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses)

Published Papers (6 papers)

2016

Jump to: 2015, 2014

Open AccessArticle Taiwan Universities: Where to Go?
Humanities 2016, 5(1), 12; doi:10.3390/h5010012
Received: 1 June 2015 / Revised: 30 November 2015 / Accepted: 21 January 2016 / Published: 3 February 2016
PDF Full-text (1063 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The dramatic expansion of Taiwan universities/colleges from about 100 to 160 from the late 1980s has encountered problems due to social and global changes. What should Taiwan universities move toward and how? This research relies on secondary data to explore the issues [...] Read more.
The dramatic expansion of Taiwan universities/colleges from about 100 to 160 from the late 1980s has encountered problems due to social and global changes. What should Taiwan universities move toward and how? This research relies on secondary data to explore the issues Taiwan universities currently face—a low birth rate and global competition. The decreasing number of incoming students will result in a lower registration rate and less tuition revenue, which will make some universities struggle to survive. Hence, government policies, proposed by the Ministry of Education, have been implemented to assist Taiwan universities to adjust to external changes. The Innovative Transformation Policy, adopted in 2015, consists of strategies for university–industry cooperation, university mergers, university closures, and a re-shaping of the university paradigm. This policy has begun to be implemented and its initial outcome will be continually evaluated. In accordance with the Innovative Transformation Policy, this study encourages Taiwan universities to improve governance, set prominent unique characteristics of development, and enhance global competitiveness. Full article

2015

Jump to: 2016, 2014

Open AccessArticle The Idea of a University: Rethinking the Malaysian Context
Humanities 2015, 4(3), 266-282; doi:10.3390/h4030266
Received: 13 May 2015 / Revised: 30 June 2015 / Accepted: 8 July 2015 / Published: 13 July 2015
PDF Full-text (458 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article explores the idea of a university with a specific focus in the Malaysian context. We begin the article guided by these questions—“What is a university?” and “What are universities for?”—in examining the historical and conceptual development of universities. This is [...] Read more.
This article explores the idea of a university with a specific focus in the Malaysian context. We begin the article guided by these questions—“What is a university?” and “What are universities for?”—in examining the historical and conceptual development of universities. This is followed by asking a more specific question—“What are Malaysian universities for?”—in which we discussed the overarching roles of public and private universities in this developing country. Having examined the roles of public and private universities, and taken into context the complexity and challenges surrounding these important societal institutions, we discuss two “experimental” initiatives in Malaysia: the APEX University (Accelerated Program for Excellence) focusing on sustainability and the “humanversity”. On the one hand, these initiatives are intended to prepare and transform Malaysian universities to address not only the needs of society today, but critically, of tomorrow. On the other hand, they have implications and contributions to frame our thinking about the future ideas of a university not only in Malaysia, but regionally and globally. Full article
Open AccessArticle Contesting Ideas of a University: The Case of South Africa
Humanities 2015, 4(2), 212-223; doi:10.3390/h4020212
Received: 25 April 2015 / Revised: 19 May 2015 / Accepted: 20 May 2015 / Published: 22 May 2015
PDF Full-text (252 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This article portrays four historically evolved ideas of a university, as they have developed in the South African context, namely the British liberal-humanistic education idea, the Afrikaner idea of an ethnically-oriented developmental university, the idea of an African university, and the idea [...] Read more.
This article portrays four historically evolved ideas of a university, as they have developed in the South African context, namely the British liberal-humanistic education idea, the Afrikaner idea of an ethnically-oriented developmental university, the idea of an African university, and the idea of a university proclaimed by neo-liberal economics. The global significance of this contest, as it plays out itself on South African soil, is noted. Full article
Open AccessReview Massive Open Online Courses
Humanities 2015, 4(1), 35-41; doi:10.3390/h4010035
Received: 13 November 2014 / Accepted: 13 January 2015 / Published: 28 January 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (160 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are a new addition to the open educational provision. They are offered mainly by prestigious universities on various commercial and non-commercial MOOC platforms allowing anyone who is interested to experience the world class teaching practiced in these [...] Read more.
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are a new addition to the open educational provision. They are offered mainly by prestigious universities on various commercial and non-commercial MOOC platforms allowing anyone who is interested to experience the world class teaching practiced in these universities. MOOCs have attracted wide interest from around the world. However, learner demographics in MOOCs suggest that some demographic groups are underrepresented. At present MOOCs seem to be better serving the continuous professional development sector. Full article

2014

Jump to: 2016, 2015

Open AccessArticle Self-image and Missions of Universities: An Empirical Analysis of Japanese University Executives
Humanities 2014, 3(2), 210-231; doi:10.3390/h3020210
Received: 31 December 2013 / Revised: 13 March 2014 / Accepted: 22 May 2014 / Published: 26 May 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (337 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
As universities in Japan gain institutional autonomy in managing internal organizations, independent of governmental control as a result of deregulation and decentralizing reforms, it is becoming increasingly important that the executives and administrators of each institution demonstrate clear and strategic vision and [...] Read more.
As universities in Japan gain institutional autonomy in managing internal organizations, independent of governmental control as a result of deregulation and decentralizing reforms, it is becoming increasingly important that the executives and administrators of each institution demonstrate clear and strategic vision and ideas to external stakeholders, in order to maintain financially robust operations and attractiveness of their institutions. This paper considers whether and how the self-image, mission, and vision of universities are perceived and internalized by the management of Japanese universities and empirically examines the determinants of shaping such individual perceptions. The result of our descriptive analysis indicates that the recent government policy to internationalize domestic universities has not shown much progress in the view of university executives in Japan. An increasing emphasis on the roles of serving local needs in research and teaching is rather pursued by these universities. Individual perceptions among Japanese university executives with regard to the missions and functional roles to be played by their institutions are influenced by managerial rank as well as the field of their academic training. A multiple regression analysis reveals that the economy of scale brought out by an expanded undergraduate student enrollment gradually slows down and decelerate executive perceptions, with regard to establishing a globally recognized status in research and teaching. Moreover, Japanese universities with a small proportion of graduate student enrollment, likely opted out from competitions for gaining a greater respect in the global community of higher education between 2005 and 2012. Finally, the management in universities granted with the same amount of external research funds in both studied years responded more passively in 2012 than did in 2005 on the self-assessment of whether having established a status as a global knowledge base. Full article
Open AccessArticle University Community Partnerships
Humanities 2014, 3(1), 88-101; doi:10.3390/h3010088
Received: 12 December 2013 / Revised: 14 February 2014 / Accepted: 3 March 2014 / Published: 11 March 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (112 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
University-Community Partnerships have been recognized as a valuable contribution to both the academic community and our cities and towns. In the words of Henry Cisneros, former U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Design secretary, “The long-term futures of both the city and [...] Read more.
University-Community Partnerships have been recognized as a valuable contribution to both the academic community and our cities and towns. In the words of Henry Cisneros, former U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Design secretary, “The long-term futures of both the city and the university in this country are so intertwined that one cannot—or perhaps will not—survive without the other.” Increasingly, colleges and university are bringing their time, energy and resources to bear on local problems. They are using their other physical, financial and intellectual capital to facilitate economic development, provide social services, technical assistance and create opportunities for applied research. Full article

Journal Contact

MDPI AG
Humanities Editorial Office
St. Alban-Anlage 66, 4052 Basel, Switzerland
humanities@mdpi.com
Tel. +41 61 683 77 34
Fax: +41 61 302 89 18
Editorial Board
Contact Details Submit to Humanities
Back to Top