External developments

General trends

ICT trends
Knowledge society trends

Supervision and governance trends

General trends

Over the next 10 years, the following trends will determine the context for the development of Dutch university education and research to a significant degree

  • Smaller role for the government/greater independence for universities.
  • Deregulation: elimination of macro-efficiency (freedom to start new courses), greater freedom for course structuring, more opportunities for selection;
  • Relative decrease of income from primary cash flow compared to secondary and tertiary cash flow (including sponsoring).
  • Risk of termination of funding for Master’s degree programmes and student grants for Master’s degree students.
  • Specific theme for EUR is the three ‘new’ universities lagging behind with regard to research funding; the solution to this will partially determine development opportunities.
  • Increase in demand-based services (rights to government-funded education, research funding).
  • Increased social/public entrepreneurship (PPS).
  • Greater role for alumni (marketing, funding).
  • Increased (international) mobility of students and staff:
    • Development of European area for education
    • Consequences of Bachelor’s-Master’s degree implementation
  • Growing competition for the best students, especially for Master’s degree programmes -> differentiation of courses.
  • Competition for talent / top researchers.
  • Need for focussing on what people are good at (portfolio choice).
  • Competition and (international) collaboration between institutions.

As a result of these developments, universities must focus on areas in which they really excel (portfolio choice and selectivity with regard to development choices). For most institutions, the current influx into Dutch universities mainly comes from the region (the area of coverage within a radius of 50 km); diversity management will be a central task when increasing internationalisation. For EUR this is a special task, as the number of students from ethnic minorities within the region is relatively high, and their level of education is relatively low.

ICT trends

The following ICT trends are expected to determine the development of Dutch university education and research:

  • Further ICT development will allow new forms of education (distance education, virtual university).
  • New generations of students have grown up with ICT; it is therefore necessary to stay in line with the latest developments (forms of education) and facilities.
  • The extent to which ICT will affect the structure of education and the university is still unclear. Forms of blended learning (what is that?) will probably dominate.

Knowledge society trends

The following trends that are related to the knowledge society or the Lisbon Agenda are expected to determine the development of Dutch university education and research:

  • Increased demand for highly-educated people.
  • Increased demand for knowledge valorisation.
  • Increased significance of life-long learning; strong position of EUR in the field of post-initial education.
  • Contribution by Dutch universities to knowledge valorisation is currently still limited (few patents, few spin-offs). Possible pressure on universities to focus research more on social demand (also in view of increased significance of tertiary cash flow income)
  • EUR is constantly strengthening its position in this area:
    • RSM Erasmus University (social innovation)
    • Erasmus MC (ageing people)
    • FEW/Erasmus MC (economic aspects of healthcare)

Supervision and governance trends

The following trends in supervision and governance are expected to determine the development of Dutch university education and research:

  • Increased significance of quality assurance and responsibility:
    • Accreditation/inspections.
    • Rankings.
  • More available information, quality of courses and research as a competition factor.
  • Developing forms of horizontal responsibility.