Welcome to the website of the Governance and Adaptation to Innovative Modes of the Higher Education Provision Project.

The GAIHE project analyses the impact of innovative modes of provision on the governance and management of higher education institutions.

It examines innovative modes of higher education, in terms of both teaching and learning, and their evolution across Europe, considering how and why they emerged, and how the management and governance of higher education have adapted to change. The project tracks the rising popularity of computer-enhanced learning (E-learning) and free web-based university courses (OpenCourseWare), among many other innovations.

This proposal tackles one main area for reforms of the EU2020 strategy, namely to create effective governance mechanisms in support of excellence . The emergence of these new modes of provision has sparked a strong debate about how to maintain the quality of higher education worldwide, including for example the US Congressional enquiry into the private providers of higher education in 2011. This project therefore strongly relates to the Commission objectives of enhancing the quality of higher education in an environment where globalisation and the attractiveness of the European higher education area need to be reinforced (Europa 2010, 34).

Developing excellence in teaching and learning and enhancing lifelong learning implies that higher education institutions should use the latest developments in teaching in order to respond to competitive pressures.

These developments raise many managerial challenges. ‘Traditional’ higher education institutions have to rethink their governance models in order to adapt to these changes and domestic reforms. ‘Traditional’ higher education provision typically includes a concentration of activities in the institution, a reliance on public grants and state control through a priori command and control rather than a posteriori evaluation, which does not necessarily match the new forms of management declined above, based for example on unbundling and fragmentation.

New managerial types are emerging, including the ‘Amazon university’, (based on e-learning and sharing content), the on-demand university, where students tailor their courses and credits over a period of time, the learning hotel, which continually changes flows of collaboration and interchanges between academic scholars and corporate, government or professional practitioners, as well as the umbrella university, which sees the university as a cooperative rather than a self-contained entity with fragmented activities, the university becoming a ‘holding structure with a conglomerate of separately managed businesses.