eUniversity Forum - eIntegration Challenges for Rectors & Deans: Cross-border Cooperation in eRegion

June 4, 2006
16.00 - 19.30
Hotel Golf - Libertas Hall

Tapio Reponen, Professor & Rector
Turku School of Economics and Business Administration, Finland

Welcome Address
Ivan Rozman
, Professor & Rector
University of Maribor, Slovenia

Approaches to East-West Academic Cooperation

Andrew Deegan
, Professor & Acting Dean
UCD School of Business, Quinn School of Business, Faculty of Commerce, University College Dublin, Ireland '

Transitions and Challenges of the ongoing German University System Migration

J. Felix Hampe, Professor & Dean
Faculty of Informatics, University of Koblenz-Landau
, Germany
Public Private Partnership in Higher Education – Risks and Opportunities

Robert Leskovar
, Associate Professor & Dean
Faculty of Organizational Sciences, University of Maribor, Slovenia

Critical Issues for University Management to Support Internationalization in CEE: How we can Enhance Cross Border Faculty and Student Collaboration

Andras Nemeslaki
, Professor & Associate Dean International Affairs
Faculty of Business Administration, Corvinus University of Budapest

European Technology Platforms - a New Approach to Forging Industry/University Partnerships

Dr. Rosalie Zobel
, Director, Directorate G: Components and Systems
Information Society and Media Directorate-General, European Commission, European Union

Executive Report on ALADIN – ALpe ADria INitiative Universities’ Network Activities

Paolo Inchingolo
, Professor & Director, Higher Education in Clinical Engineering (HECE)
Chairman, IHE Transnational Committee for Central and Eastern Europe & Delegate, ALADIN – ALpe ADria INitiative Universities Network, University of Trieste, Italy

András Gábor
, Associate Professor & Head
Department of Information Systems, Director, Technology Transfer Center

Corvinus University of Budapest, Hungary

eUniversity Forum Description

Information technology is having a dramatic impact on both the delivery of higher education and the operations of universities. During this Forum at the 19th Bled eConference, university rectors, deans and professors will share their perspectives related to the academic impact that Information and Communication Technology can have on the development of the University sector in Europe.

The Universities are facing global competition on the markets of both education and research. The competitiveness of European Universities should be strengthened to reach the leading edge in some fields of research and to offer more quality in all sectors of higher education. To meet these goals we have to deal with the challenge of combining collaboration and healthy competition between Universities. Information technology and eLearning play an important role in the development of both efficiency and effectiveness of the academic world. The following introduces some examples of the challenges that will be addressed by the panel.

1. Management challenges
We often hear that University research is a key issue in our future economic development. Rectors, deans and professors are confronted, however, in everyday life with multiple major problems, like University financing, structural development in Universities, cooperation with other Universities, possible mergers with other Universities, balance between theoretical and empirical research, knowledge vs. cultural values, creativity and innovation processes, promoting entrepreneurship in education and University management, etc.

Mobility of people, sharing knowledge and creating platforms for interorganizational information processes are necessary. Crossing organizational boundaries creates problems in the design and implementation of effective systems. The successful handling of academic integration issues is critical to the success of eManagement in higher education, both internally and externally.

2. Academic Challenges
Confronted by the future problems of under funding, fragmentation, and competition among researchers, Universities have to create programs that support science-based initiatives to develop societies. Research environments should have modern equipment and information technology to attract and support young researchers.

A significant academic challenge concerning the application and integration of ICT is to ascertain the value and feasibility of distance education within the university context. While certain universities and colleges, especially in Europe, have been in the forefront of delivering distance education for many years, the Internet and web-based technologies have had a dramatic impact on the marketplace allowing new entrants to become major competitors. These new entrants range from traditional universities to new profit-oriented entrants. While several of them have experienced difficult times, distance education will survive and probably flourish. Given a proper business model it can have a significant impact on economic development.

While distance education will be a challenge, curriculum issues will also be addressed. This century will experience a remarkable transformation in the transactions of business and commerce. eCommerce will be an enabler of this transformation, and eCurriculum must respond and contribute to these developments.

3. Administrative Challenges
The nature of academic life has changed during the past decades. More time is spent on preparing project proposals, sending applications to financers, reporting ongoing projects and securing continuity of the research. Bureaucracy has increased in the context of global, EU, national, regional and local decision making. Administrative processes have become more complicated and laborious than earlier. The time spent in key processes, education and research, is diminishing and leading to lower academic quality.

ICT will play a more significant role in the administrative operations of the university. Most universities are now aware of the importance of building strong administrative systems. For example, many universities and schools have a common system to support the functions of admissions, financial aid, enrolment management, course scheduling, financial functions, and development activities. The use of an enterprise system has allowed institutions to increase their efficiency throughout the organization, a fact that many commercial organizations are now acting on. Others have adopted the best-of-breed approach and are willing to deal with multiple vendors and to build integrating links.

During the next decade, Internet and web-based technologies will provide a wide range of student services such as admissions, registration, and payment processes. Students are now able to view their records such as transcripts, tuition statements and other pertinent information concerning their status. Integrating these applications into academic processes will be critical.