Presentation of Thomas Estermann EUA

Report
Trends in University Autonomy
in Europe and Ireland
Thomas Estermann
Director Governance, Funding and Public Policy
Development
Dublin
29.09.2014
850 members in 43 countries
Structure
I.
Why university autonomy
II.
The state of university autonomy in
Europe/Ireland: data – trends – scorecards




…4…
Staffing autonomy
Financial autonomy
Organisational autonomy
Academic autonomy
Why university autonomy?
Positive correlations exist between autonomy and:

performance

quality

degrees of income diversification

internationalisation

efficiency and effectiveness
Institutional autonomy:

allows universities to decide on strategic priorities according
to their strengths;

does not automatically lead to better performance, but it is
an important prerequisite.
…5…
Challenges
•
Institutional autonomy:
 is a complex concept that consists of various interconnected
elements
 is contingent on the diverse cultural, political, legal and
historical backgrounds of Europe’s HE systems
 cannot be measured objectively
 There are diverse systems, even within countries
 There is not just one model – context is very important
•
The Autonomy Scorecard:
 had to take into account constantly changing legislative
frameworks and at times contradictory policy developments
 had to simplify complex situations
…6…
Methodology of the Autonomy Scorecard
•
The scoring system:
 is based on deductions → restrictions on institutional
autonomy are assigned a deduction value based on
how restrictive a particular regulation is seen to be;
 produces percentage scores for each indicator;
 calculates the score for one autonomy dimension as an
average of the scores for all indicators making up that
dimension.
…7…
Organisational
•Selection
procedure/
criteria for rector
Financial
Staffing
•Length/ type of
public funding
•Staff recruitment
procedures
•Keeping a surplus
•Staff salaries
•Borrowing money
•Staff dismissals
•Inclusion/
selection of
external members
in governing
bodies
•Owning buildings
•Staff promotions
•Deciding on
academic
structures
•Charging tuition
fees for non-EU
students
•Dismissal/ term of
office of rector
•Creating legal
entities
…8…
•Charging tuition
fees for national/
EU students
Academic
•Deciding on
overall student
numbers
•Selecting students
•Introducing/
terminating
programmes
•Choosing language
of instruction
•Selecting QA
mechanisms/
providers
•Designing content
of programmes
Staffing autonomy - trends
Recruitment procedures are less prescribed than before.
In most systems, restrictions still apply to staff salaries,
although these are less likely to be due to the civil servant
status of university staff.
Staff dismissals and promotions remain restricted in more
than half of the systems studied.
The financial crisis has affected staffing policies in some
countries.
Staffing autonomy – the scorecard
…10…
Staffing autonomy issues now
 The financial crisis has affected institutional autonomy
 The Employment Control Framework has reduced staffing
autonomy in all indicators and effects other dimensions as
well
 Salary bands are prescribed at central level
 Additional restrictions and lower salaries at entry level for
new staff
 Reductions in salary through between 6-14% gross
 Increased taxation, larger pension contributions, and other
social charges impacts on salaries
Staffing autonomy 2014
Original
scorecard
82%
“high”
cluster
Updated
2014 version
43%
“medium
low” cluster
Change
Main reason
-39%
Increased deductions on
recruitment, salaries and
promotions. Change in collective
agreements on dismissal.
Financial autonomy – trends
 Universities generally receive their public funding as a block
grant, although its allocation may be restricted.
 Surpluses can be kept and money borrowed in a majority
of systems, but in practice, various limitations still apply.
 Universities in most systems are able to own their
buildings, but often require external permission to sell them.
 The situation is complex, but universities tend to be more
free to set tuition fees for MA and non-EU students.
…13…
Financial autonomy – the scorecard 2012
…14…
Financial autonomy issues now
 Earmarking of parts of the block grant for specific purposes should
be kept to minimum as well as top slicing
 Institutions should be able to keep a surplus
 Funding linked to student numbers requires reflection
 Capacity to borrow money could be more flexible
 Universities should have a longer funding period
 Discussion on fees for national and EU students at Bachelor level
Financial autonomy 2014
Original
scorecard
Updated 2014
version
Change
Main reason
66%
“medium
high” cluster
63%
“medium high
cluster”
-3%
Higher deduction to reflect
increase in top-slicing from
general budget
Organisational autonomy - trends
 External members are now included in university
governing bodies in a majority of systems, though external
authorities often remain involved in their selection.
 Universities in nearly all systems are free to create legal
entities and decide on academic structures.
 Rectors are always chosen by the universities, although
external authorities often have to confirm the appointment.
Organisational autonomy – the scorecard 2012
…18…
Organisational autonomy issues 2014
•
Organisational autonomy in IE is advanced but:
 more advanced countries have more flexibility in composition of
governing bodies and smaller bodies
 Threats to academic structure if legislation over staff numbers is
implemented
 Regulation on employment in legal entities should be made more
flexible.
Organisational autonomy 2014
Original
scorecard
81%
“high”
cluster
Updated
2014
version
73%
“medium
high”
cluster
Change
-8%
Main reason
Change due to further deduction on
capacity to decide on academic structures
and further deduction on capacity to create
legal entities
Academic autonomy - trends
 Overall student numbers are limited in nearly all systems.
 Universities in Europe still have little freedom in choosing QA
mechanisms.
 Accreditation is still compulsory for BA/MA programmes in a
majority of systems.
 The language of instruction can be chosen freely in approx.
2/3 of all systems.
Ireland is the most autonomous system evaluated in the
Scorecard.
=> No change in 2014
…21…
Academic autonomy – the scorecard 2014
…22…
…23…
Other autonomy issues 2014
•
Universities Act in principle strong framework for autonomy – but
danger of reduction through additional legislation or threats of
emergency legislation to force compliance.
•
General direction of state policy towards increasing control of
universities has intensified.
•
Declining public budget and increasing state control in relation to
staffing
•
Draft legislation regarding ministerial directives, national labour
agreements has the capacity to significantly impact on university
autonomy
•
Binding decisions of the Labour Court have an impact on institutions
without their involvement.
Other autonomy issues II
 Strategic dialogue and performance contracts should not be taken
out of the core funding
 These apply for the first time for 2014/2015 and funding was held
back by the HEA on that basis
 Public service reforms (e.g. shared services initiatives, central
procurement, employment control framework, etc.) have an
impact on universities' ability to manage their own affairs
(individually and/or collectively)
 The introduction of a National Research Prioritisation Exercise that
orients competitive research funding towards 14 priority areas
reduces scope for internal strategic decision-making.
9-10 October 2014, Bergamo, Italy
Strategies for sustainable funding of universities
www.eua.be/eua-funding-forum-bergamo
http://www.eua.be/eua-funding-forum-bergamo.aspx
Thank you for your attention!
For further information, please contact
[email protected]
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@thomasestermann
@euatweets

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