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Higher Education Management and Policy Paris, OECD, ISSN 1682-3451
Higher Education Management and Policy
Paris, OECD, ISSN 1682-3451
The journal is sub-titled ‘Journal of
the Programme on Institutional Management in Higher Education’
(IMHE). This Programme co-ordinates the work of the Organisation
for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in the area of
Third Level education.
The Programme itself has two main objectives:
• To promote - through research, training and information
exchange – greater professionalism in the management of institutions
of higher education.
• To facilitate a wider dissemination of practical management
methods and approaches.
This review will consider how well the journal supports such objectives
and, more generally, how accessible it is to those interested in
the field of higher education and its management.
Now in its seventeenth volume, this well-established journal publishes
three issues per year. Volume 16, published in 2004, comprised 23
papers in all. They ranged from 8 to 30 pages, with most of them
having between 10 and 20 pages.
The institutional affiliations of authors included UNESCO, European
Investment Bank, universities, university umbrella groups, international
research institutes, a university hospital and a students’
union. They were located in Australia, Austria, Canada (2), France
(4), Great Britain (7), Ireland (2), Japan, Luxembourg, Nigeria,
Turkey, USA (2).
Where it could be determined, the authors seemed to be fairly evenly
divided between practising academics, researchers and managers.
Both snail mail and email addresses were included in order to assist
readers to contact authors and to follow up any issues if they wished
to do so.
The papers covered an eclectic mix of topical higher education
issues: incentives and accountability, student satisfaction, performance
indicators, institutional autonomy versus government control, international
co-operation, economic impacts of higher education, widening access,
computer-based learning, research versus teaching, generalist versus
specialist institutions, management of change.
Most papers were traditional reports of the authors’ own
research, either scholarly papers in their own right or conference
papers rewritten to varying degrees. But some were review papers,
some papers from conference keynote speakers, some rapporteurs’
accounts of discussions at workshops. They all shared a practical
Differences in referencing patterns reflect the different origins
of the papers. References typically numbered between 15 and 25,
citing other research papers published in reputable journals, many
with an international coverage. One review paper included more than
70 references; keynote speeches had none at all.
Only four of the papers had illustrations but these were always
appropriate and added significantly to the content.
All the papers included abstracts. Most are substantial, straightforward
and add much of value to the paper. Others, however, are too brief
or too dense and full of jargon to help an initial understanding
by the reader.
The OECD is a reputable publisher with a global reach. The editor
is an acknowledged expert with extensive experience in the field.
There is an Editorial Advisory Group of 18 similarly distinguished
individuals drawn from North America, Europe (east and west), Australia
and Japan. All papers are submitted to independent referees for
review before publication.
The print version of the journal is slightly larger than A5 format
with each issue between 120 and 150 pages, making it easily portable
and just as easy to handle. All the papers are well laid out. Many
of them use bullet points or in-text boxes to good advantage in
order to summarize and highlight significant facts or arguments.
The header to each page gives an abbreviated title of the paper
and the footer gives the journal title, ISSN, publisher and year
of publication. The first page of every paper is solely a title
page with title of the paper, author’s name and institutional
affiliation, abstract and publication details (the same information
as the footer plus the volume and issue numbers).
The paper is crisp white. Headings and sub-headings are bold and
clearly legible. But the main font in all papers - especially the
abstracts and the references - is slightly smaller and fainter than
this reviewer would have liked.
And two small irritations concerning photocopying: the height of
the paper means that the copies have to be slightly reduced to incorporate
all the text and it is necessary to include the title page in any
photocopies in order to have a full reference.
DIT has two current subscriptions to this journal, held in the
libraries at Bolton Street and Mount Street. Holdings for both go
back to Volume 14, 2002.
A major benefit to most readers is the fact that an electronic
version of the journal is included in all subscriptions to the print
journal. This means that it is freely available to users on their
own desktops at all times [*see below].
The electronic version is easy to access via the Library Catalogue.
It presents the full text print version in PDF format – like
a photocopy online. Furthermore, pages can be viewed and printed
in A4 size (depending on the capabilities of individual PCs and
Some electronic journals have the option of viewing papers in either
PDF or HTML format. In HTML, live web links can be inserted in the
main body of the text, thereby enabling readers to connect directly
to referenced sources and other related web pages. This journal
does not have that facility at present. It would greatly enhance
its utility if it did, and it can only be a matter of time before
such functionality is added.
I queried at the outset whether or not the journal satisfies the
objectives of the IMHE Programme. Undoubtedly it does, through its
contribution to the exchange of information and dissemination of
practical management methods applied specifically to higher education.
All done in such a way that it is easily accessible and highly readable.
I recommend this journal unreservedly.
*DIT Library subscribes to a huge number of electronic
journals (16,000 at the time of writing but constantly increasing).
Most can be accessed directly via the Library Catalogue at http://library.dit.ie/search/s
without the need for IDs and passwords from any networked PC on
Information about electronic journals is available on the
Library Website at http://www.dit.ie/DIT/library/resources/ejournals/index.html.
Please contact your nearest library for further details.