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Knowledge for Change: Seminar 1

Knowledge for Change: Seminar 1

In the first of our Knowledge for Change seminars, hosted by pre-eminent academics in their respective fields, Malmö University is delighted to welcome John Aubrey Douglass. He is a Senior Research Fellow - Public Policy and Higher Education at the Center for Studies in Higher Education at the University of California – Berkeley and the author of the book, The New Flagship University: Changing the Paradigm from Global Rankings to National Relevancy.

Seminar abstract

Seeking a Larger Purpose: Espousing on New Flagship Model

In his recent book, John Douglass provides an expansive vision for leading national universities and an alternative or complimentary narrative to global rankings and the notion of World Class Universities that dominate the attention of many universities, and most government ministries.

The keynote address will discuss the New Flagship model, advocating pathways for universities to shape their missions and academic cultures, and to pursue organisational features intended to expand their relevancy in the societies that give them life and purpose. In this quest, international standards of excellence focused largely on research productivity are not ignored, but are framed as only one goal towards supporting a university's productivity and larger social purpose - not as an end unto itself. The Flagship model includes four policy realms of policies and practices. Each relates to the institution’s external responsibilities and internal operations, and draws on examples of innovative activities in leading national universities from throughout the world.

Within the context of a larger national higher education system, the idea is that Flagship institutions have a set of goals, shared good practices, logics, and the resources to pursue them. To state the obvious, different nations and their universities operate in different environments, reflecting their own national cultures, politics, expectations, and the realities of their socioeconomic world. The purpose of the New Flagship model is not to create a single template or checklist, but an expansive array of characteristics and practices that connects a selective group of universities—an aspiration model. His talk will discuss the Flagship model, its applicability, and challenges it poses in Sweden and in other parts of the world, as a framework for a discussion on the future of Malmö University.

About John A Douglass

John A Douglass

Along with authoring a number of books, research projects he has founded include the Student Experience in the Research University (SERU) Consortium – a group of US and international major research universities, with members in China, Brazil, South Africa, the Netherlands and Russia.

He is also the editor of the Center's Research and Occasional Paper Series. He also sits on the editorial board of international higher education journals in the UK, China, and Russia, and serves on the international advisory boards of a number of higher education institutes.

He has been a visiting researcher at the Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung, a visiting professor at Amsterdam University College, at Brazil's Universidade Estadual de Campinas, at Sciences Po in Paris and a visiting research fellow at the Oxford Center for Higher Education Policy Studies.

The event will be moderated by Lund University's Professor Mats Benner. Mats BennerHe holds a PhD in Sociology and is currently professor in science policy studies at Lund University's School of Economics and Management.

He is also a visiting professor at KTH, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, and King's College, London. He has previously been affiliated with the University of Essex, Linköping University, and Uppsala University. He deals primarily with issues of research policy, university governance and state-industry relations. He is a permanent member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences, a board member of Mid Sweden University and has been a member of the Swedish Government’s Research Advisory Board.

Last updated by Amanda Malmquist