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Why Should University be Changed?

Leading a university in a time of change is not easy. Leaders must know clearly what aspects are and what will change. Strong social pressures on higher education institutions have a significant impact on the need for universities or colleges to immediately change. Neglecting changes will drop down universities or colleges’ performance. 

Why Should University be Changed?
Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

What are the pressures that must be anticipated? According to my observations, several things deserve the attention of university leaders regarding these demands. Among the demands for change can be identified:

First, social pressure in society requires universities to 'change their status'. The status of conventional universities as we practice today must be changed to the form of a corporately managed university. That's why, in various discourses, there has been a tug of war between maintaining a traditional university form and a university that carries out its educational practices using corporate management methods. This method, of course, justifies profit, the excess is left, so universities are competing to build the 'wings' of institutions that can produce centre for academic excellent within the university. Universities are busy creating 'profit wings' or institutions in charge of 'income generating'.

Second, changes in the 'face or appearance of students' are also required to change. Students who enter universities today are very diverse, plural, and even multi-cultural. Those who enter university are not only dominated by homogeneous high school graduates but quite heterogeneous high school graduates. Especially if the university opens its capacity for students who graduate from foreign countries. This change is quite significant and cannot be avoided. Our education market has been integrated into the international education market. We have been involved in countries that have to open up their education services market. This involvement is a real result of globalization.

Third, there is now a major change in the relationship between university institutions and the education market. In the past, universities were more 'dominant' in regulating the market (students-intake), now students are choosing to enter the university they want. The relationship between prospective students and universities providing education is more rational, requiring each other. Universities are no longer as powerful as before. Universities have to recruit prospective students through a tough 'competition'. Competition in building a 'brand image', competition in 'advertising quality', competition in incentives, competition in education financing.

Relationship changing also changes the pattern of leadership within the university. Changes in 'university governance' from being centralized to a university governance structure that is pluralistic, centralized, so that the distribution of responsibilities becomes a necessity. University governance must be developed into a more decentralized, independent, and autonomous form.

Universities, recently, are trying hard to find a way to answer 'a global problem', where university boundaries are blurred, where accountability for university administration is demanded, where transparency of university institutional governance is required, where autonomy and decentralization are the main streams of change. Therefore, university leaders must look back at their 'core business’. Universities must diversify in terms of 'funding based'. For this work, culture is also changing.

The main slogan is there is no day without change, no matter how small the change must be done. Changes that cause the future of the university to be adjusted. Change even becomes the future itself. Meanwhile, we have still shrouded in mystery housing the future. But that future is also what we are pursuing. That future is what we dream of. May we be safe in pursuing that future.


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