PUBLIC SECTOR PRACTICES AFFECTS UNIVERSITY OPERATIONS 10
HowPublic Sector Management Practices Affect the Operation and Programsat Dalhousie University
HowPublic Sector Management Practices Affect the Operation and Programsat Dalhousie University
Applicationand subsequent entry into one of the leading institution of highereducation is the dream of a student who has completed secondaryeducation. Dalhousie University is one of such universities. It is apublicly funded university offering more than 200 degree programs tothousands of students (Dalhousie University, 2015 p5). Being a publicresearch university means that it`s publicly owned and therefore,should follow all the specifications and public sector managementpractices. These practices define the operations of the universitiesand in extension the programs offered by higher educationinstitutions.
Asa student, especially if you have fully paid for your education,these practices can affect the expectations and aspirations you mayhave in your schooling life. This discussion will try to cover howpublic sector management practices affect the operation and programsoffered by Dalhousie University.
PublicSector Management Practices
Publicsector management encompasses a myriad of issues when it comes toinstitutions of higher learning. Some of these include: governmentstructuring policy formulation and implementation strategicmanagement strategies human resource managementinternationalization of education programs and curriculumdevelopment, and market oriented policies, among other things.
Everypublic institution of higher learning is guided by these publicmanagement practices and their activities follow hand in hand to theset down policies formulated at a national level by legal arms ofgovernment like legislature, public service commission and universitysenate (Kettl, 2015 p47). Good practices reflect positively on theperformance of these institutions since the staff and students areusually incorporated in the system and all their needs andrequirements are met.
Theuncertain and unprecedented growth, competitiveness and complicacy ofthe whole world economy together with its subsequent social, economicand political changes have also created a lot of pressures toinstitutions of higher learning to adopt market oriented initiativestoo. This is compounded by the ever expanding university educationwhich cannot proportionately be funded by the government budgetarysupport thus creating dire financial pressure on them and thereforelooking to the market for additional income. Dalhousie University isnot left behind too. It has to take into account all changeshappening all over the world to ensure its competitiveness in theglobal market.
StateGovernance and Coordination
Politicalstructure and political goodwill go hand in hand with the success ofthe education sector and other sectors of the economy (Edwards,2000). The Canadian government structure has ensured politicalstability in the country and therefore ensured that the educationsector is thriving. The government is the key financier of highereducation.
DalhousieUniversity relies heavily on the government funding to functioneffectively. If the state government is deep in huge foreign debts,corruption, lack of transparency in public service and bureaucraticsystems, it means that the learning is disturbed in the institutions,reason being lack of enough funds to be allocated to them. TheCanadian government has put in place measures to seal all theseloopholes in the governance and use of public funds through adoptionof Total Quality Control measures in all departments. According toexperts, university governance should be keep up with these controlmeasures too to enable prudent use of public funds and avoid anywasteful use (Cameron, 2000 p300). Proper financial management is thekey to progress and prosperity at Dalhousie University.
Studentsin any institution of higher learning require a comfortable learningexperience in terms of financial stability and social life. Theuniversity should be able to provide not only reasonable tuitionfees, but also financial aid. Both the university and the nationalgovernment should create departments that advance grants or loans tostudents to enable them to settle out all their expenses in school.
DalhousieUniversity has a well-established academic aid support office. Theyadvance internal bursaries, scholarships and grants to the needystudents. They also collaborate with other financial agencies toprovide effective support to the students. At a national level, thegovernment through Canada students’ loan program enables needystudents to apply for student loan via provincial and territorialunits (TreasuryBoard of Canada Secretariat, 2010 p49).Such undertakings are very important since they go a long way inpromoting access to higher education and enabling the existingstudents to get fees reprieve which could indirectly be withholdingtheir full potential. The government and the university should stillincrease the amount each student should get and outsource for moredonors for the same purpose.
Institutionsof higher learn to employ many employees. The process of doing thisshould always be transparent and follow the laid down procedures andregulations. Employment should be based on merit and qualificationsthe employee has for the specific job. International competitivenessand ranking of these institutions majorly depend on thequalifications the teaching staff has and the likely graduates theycan produce to meet the world and societal needs (NEA Update, 2004p355).
Everystudent wants to be taught by a qualified and experienced professorwho will inculcate both the book knowledge and the general virtuesrequired in the real life. Dalhousie University Human resourcemanagement should be reviewed and modernized to address thechallenges of changing leadership at the university too, and ensurepublic service leaders internalize the management of human resourcemanagement. It should also address the demographic challenges andgender equality.
Theirmain goal should be fostering a public service committed to servingall students and staff and to build a workplace environment where allemployees are encouraged to produce the best of their capabilities(Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, 2010 p30). The managementshould support learning and development as well as develop leaderswho will otherwise inspire their employees to perform to their bestabilities.
Internationalizationof Higher Education
Internationalizationof higher education is integration of the international dimension inthe teaching and learning, research and, services offered by theuniversities and other higher learning institutions. It alsoencompasses all the initiatives that come into play to promotecomprehension of the international community, interculturalcompetency and uphold a sense of responsibility to other peoplearound the world in the field of education.
Themain catalyst for promotion of international education for allpost-secondary students is development of necessary knowledge, skillsand intellectual capacity compatible with the learning and researchof a global perspective. This also goes a long way in promotingstudent mobility across the world. The four main components ofinternational education are: flow of new scholars, the flow of newknowledge, flow of new students and the content of the curriculum.
Thepolicies put forth by the government and the university councildetermines the success of the internationalization of highereducation. Skilled immigration policies are the key pillars of labor,student and scholar mobility. Labor mobility gives workers thefreedom to practice their occupation anywhere in the world where suchopportunities exist.
Organizationfor Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) report stated thatmore than 77% of foreign students choose to do so in OECD countries,especially USA and Canada (Organization for Economic Co-operation andDevelopment, 2010 p135). Dalhousie University belongs to this group.It has encouraged internationalization of education by invitingforeign students to apply for degree programs. They are eitheroffered partial of full scholarships for their tuition fees toencourage them to apply. It has also entered into agreements andaffiliations with other international colleges and universities toallow student exchange programs, professional/faculty exchangeprograms and curriculum exchange offering new courses to theinstitution that never existed initially.
Theuniversity enjoys a good flow of international students. Theintercultural sharing of new ideas and creation of a new relationshipbetween international students and local students promotes healthycompetition, sharing of ideas and promotion of international cohesionand integration.
Itcan, therefore, be deduced that a country’s policy ofinternationalization of higher education is a very important aspectin promoting student and professional flow to higher educationinstitutions as seen in this Canadian university. The university,through various stakeholders should continue on this pathway toencourage more students and professionals here and actually make iteasier for all graduates seek employment in this country if they wishto do so.
Marketoriented initiatives and public sector entrepreneurship
Canada,just like the global New Public Management movement has also embarkedon reducing government waste and ensuring all the governmentfunctions are performed efficiently and effectively through adoptionof a number of market based approaches. Being a multidimensionalconcept, public management of higher education in Canada has seen theintroduction of entrepreneurial policies like privatization,public-private partnerships and entrepreneurship.
Publicsector entrepreneurship has maintained the competitiveness that isneeded in order to compete with other high ranking universities.Although Dalhousie University’s big chunk of operational incomecomes from the government and the rest from tuition and other grants,it is prudent that it changes and incorporates other externalentrepreneurial ventures to raise more income (NEA, 2004 p345). Theuniversity should invest in commercial businesses and consultancyprograms for firms. The additional income generated from theseentrepreneurial activities should then be used to fund expensiveresearch projects and acquiring better qualified professionals whosuit the vision and mission of the university.
Theincome should also be used as a motivational tool for the employedstaff through rewards and appraisals. With such reforms in place, theuniversity will benefit both the students and the staff and it willuplift its international position in terms of new student enrollmentand international competitiveness in all areas of research andcurriculum development.
Thecurriculum in most universities is developed at a national level byan independent body formed by the national government consisting ofnotable scholars in education and other relevant stakeholders. AtDalhousie the programs offered are in line with the set curriculumand in accordance with the specifications of the university’sgoverning boards in the various fields(Cameron, 2000 p310).
Studentsshould be the major beneficiaries of these programs. They choosespecific universities to advance their career goals and therefore theteaching institutions should cater for these prospects. Thecurriculum should therefore be regularly redrafted to conform to thespecific students and market needs. Students should also beincorporated fully in the affairs of the university as they can go along way I helping in the creation of knowledge. Their requirementsshould be upheld, respected and satisfied.
Cameron,D. (2000). Equity and purpose in financing universities: the case ofNova Scotia. CanadianPublic Administration, 43(3),pp,296-320.
DalhousieUniversity. (2015). DalhousieUniversity Annual Financial Report.<http://www.dal.ca/content/dam/dalhousie/pdf/financial-services/Reports/Annual%20Reports/2014-15%20Annual%20Financial%20Report.pdf>
Edwards, J.(2000). Lookingback from 2000 at Public Service 2000, reportprepared for the Office of the Auditor General of Canada, September,2000,1-152.
Kettl,D.F. (2015). Thetransformation of governance: Public administration for thetwenty-first century.JHU Press.
NEA,Higher Education Research Centre. (2004). Higher Education andPrivatisation. Update, 10(2), 1-5.Sally P., David H., & Geoff W.(1997). Managing the State and the Market: `New` Education Managementin Five Countries. BritishJournal of Educational Studies, 45,342-362.
TreasuryBoard of Canada Secretariat, 2010. HumanResources and Skills Development Canada, 2009-2010. Ottawa:TBCS
Organizationfor Economic Co-operation and Development. (2010). Educationat a glance 2010: OECD indicators.