G. Sart

Istanbul University (TURKEY)
With the exponentially increasing the industries, the governments, and the students’ expectations, most of the higher education institutions face serious challenges. Additionally, the competition among the universities through the ranking lists makes the management of the universities more strategic in taking their decisions which affect all the stakeholders of the higher educations: researchers, faculty members, students, university administrations, alumni, industries, local governments, governments, and communities. Since the innovation based industries demand strategic and expensive investments, most of the higher education managements take risks in terms of financial investments. In that way, they aim to improve the infrastructure in innovation based researching and teaching, to attract the best faculty members, researchers, and the students, particularly the post graduate students, and to support best innovation based industries. However, the costs of creating these types of ecosystems are significantly high and it is really very difficult rise funding.

In this qualitative research, the well-rounded study was conducted to analyze the infrastructure of the 2 state and 2 private universities through making compare and contrast. Since the main goal of this study was to understand the higher education managements’ challenges in developing this innovation based research and development, the intensive depth interviews were designed by choosing focus groups in four different universities. Strategically the participants (n= 28) were selected from the tom management of the higher education institution, including those from the faculties, the technology transfer offices, the technology parks, and the finance departments. After asking specific questions related to the five subjects related to the main research question, the data were collected and analyzed trough the NVivo – the qualitative data analysis software.

The analyzed data showed that the private universities were more ready than the public universities particularly those universities, which have direct contacts with the private corporates since they were much better in dealing with the strategic investments. Furthermore, the management of the public universities were slower that those of the private ones because their decisions making processes were so sophisticated and complex. Most of the members were comparatively less experiences in dealing with the financial requirements. However, the public universities were much better in developing new innovation than the private ones since the accumulation of knowledge, which was created by the best faculty members, researchers and students, were extremely good.

According to the participants, the universities should cut the costs and should increase the strategic investments in the fields that they have the future although it could not make happy all the researchers. In order to face the short-term and long-term challenges, the management of both the public and private universities should increase actual efficiencies and should realize the strategic goals. Additionally, the innovation-based research should be transformed as soon as possible to decrease the financial risks while increasing exponentially the growth in income by attracting the best post graduate students and particularly the industries that they could make strategic long term investments.