The recent wave of globalization has encouraged worldwide interconnectedness leading to increased competition among businesses. This situation has compelled organizations to adjust their policies to address these new challenges.
No organization is invulnerable to globalization challenges, and higher learning institutions are no exception. Although most higher learning institutions are yet to display sizeable effort towards the development of globalization strategies, this report will portray how Herriot Watt University adopts various policies to accelerate its’ global presence.
According to Elmes (2011), although Herriot Watt University lags within the UK market, its’ global expansion strategy is unmatched by most UK and global competitors.
As cited in Herriot-Watt University report (2008) ‘focus on the future’, the institution plans to enhance its global presence by over 50% within ten years. Currently, the university has been opening new campuses in various countries around the world.
Noticeably, the university is one of the critical providers of higher education in Trinidad and Tobago. Moreover, its’ presence is widely felt in Dubai (Herriot-Watt University, 2011). According to Elmes (2011), Herriot Watt University global expansion strategy began with the inception of an international MBA program in the early 1990’s.
Since then, the university has never looked back in its’ efforts towards international expansion. Based on the above analysis, Herriot Watt University is likely to succeed in its’ globalization strategy because it has already accumulated substantial infrastructure over the years. According to Tony (2009, p. 178), support remains the most significant hindrance towards globalization and internationalization of universities.
Secondly, Herriot Watt University has been increasing its’ distance learning programs over the years to attain its globalization vision. Consequently, this strategy has yielded positive results, as evidenced by the heightened establishment of numerous undergraduate and postgraduate distance learning programs (Herriot-Watt University, 2008).
Although distance learning programs have frequently been criticized owing to their questionable quality (Tony, 2009, p. 180), Herriot-Watt University (2008) report accentuate that, quality occupies a prime position during the initiation of these distance learning programs. Furthermore, Herriot Watt University globalization strategy aims at building a favorable image across the world.
Thirdly, Herriot Watt University has embarked on a rigorous exercise towards recruiting new global partners. Currently, the university’s success in international expansion can be directly attributed to superior international partnership relations. Through its’ diverse network known as Approved Learning Partners, students are able to obtain a Herriot Watt degree in their home country (Herriot-Watt University, 2008).
Consequently, in order to promote product differentiation, the university develops learning programs for these academic partners. Furthermore, the university ensures that tutors in partner institutions’ interact closely with their counterparts based at Scotland University branch (Herriot-Watt University, 2011).
On the same note, globalization has attracted new challenges to the development of higher education curriculums, seeing that old courses have become redundant in this new era. To meet these new challenges, universities have been compelled to introduce new programs that are aligned with new market demands (Tony, 2009, p. 180).
Correspondingly, as part of its globalization strategy, Herriot Watt University constantly innovates new courses in order to meet the ever-changing academic environment (Herriot-Watt University, 2008).
According to Tony (2009, p. 176), the realities of globalization have escalated competition among higher education institutions; thus, program differentiation is an essential strategy to offset competition. Accordingly, Herriot Watt curriculum expansion is quite timely and will contribute a great deal towards the realization of its’ 2015 globalization vision.
Elmes, J. 2011. Heriot-Watt plans to extend long global reach. Web.
Heriot-Watt University. 2008. Focus on the future. Web.
Heriot-Watt University. 2011. Heriot-Watt global; developing the next generation of global leaders. (Online].
Tony, D. 2009. Knowledge transfer and the globalization of higher education. Journal of Knowledge-based Innovation in China, 1(3): 174 – 184.