Tuesday, 12 March 2013

On Distinctiveness

According to Barber, Donnelly and Rizvi (2013), "Distinctiveness matters", as universities complete for students and funding, they will need to make an offer that marks them out from the crowd. In addition, they will need to demonstrate their quality in whatever roles they choose to play or fields in which they choose to compete.

This distinctiveness may be exhibited at the level of,
the specific course,
the university,
the subject or theme,
the style or approach,
the quality of mentorship,
the nature of the student experience,
the relationship of a university to its city or region,
global partnerships and opportunities to study abroad,

or in a combination of a number of the above in a distinctive blend.
The university as a whole, and individual departments, will have to answer the question, "What is so special about you?", and, through their responses to that question, justify their existence.


Barber, M., Donnelly, K. and Rizvi, S., 2013. An Avalanche is coming: higher education and the revolution ahead, London, UK: Institute for Public Policy Research. Available at http://www.ippr.org/images/media/files/publication/2013/03/avalanche-is-coming_Mar2013_10432.pdf Accessed on 11 March 2013.

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