Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

To Soar like Airbus, Craft a High-Flying Network

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

To Soar like Airbus, Craft a High-Flying Network

Article excerpt

Universities should emulate the aircraft manufacturer Airbus in forming alliances in which partner institutions provide a single specialised element of a student's education rather than trying to offer a complete academic experience in one place.

That is the view of Arnoud de Meyer, president of Singapore Management University, who told the Reinventing Higher Education conference at IE University's business school in Madrid on 22 October that higher education institutions needed to radically alter how they educate their students.

Professor de Meyer, former director of Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge, said that universities needed to operate in international networks to provide an outstanding all-round academic experience for students.

That was, he said, because institutions could not be expected to be outstanding in all respects but could provide a part of the overall package that students require.

Comparing these networks to the supply chain of Airbus, in which complete sections of aeroplanes are manufactured in factories across Europe before being brought together for final assembly near Toulouse, Professor de Meyer said that a university "needs to offer something very important in that network that cannot be replicated elsewhere. …

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