Position Paper on Typology in Education

Published: 2021-09-11 05:45:08
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A. Ventura Structures and Organization of Higher Education in the Philippines (DEASOHEPN) Position Paper Subject: Towards Rationalizing Philippine Higher Education by Dr. Allan B. Bernardo I. Background of the Issue A. A significant number of reasons and purposes have been articulated concerning the creation of typologies or classification scheme both in the Philippines and abroad since the 1960s. In the House Bill number 363 of the 15th Congress, introduced by Hon. Marcelino A.
Teodoro, it was explained that the provision of a definite system for determining the number and distribution of different types of HEIs is necessary in rationalizing the SUCs and all other Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in the Philippines for allocating resources and for developing interventions for various types of HEIs . Another, and one of the original reasons, is to develop support in research on higher education by providing sound/viable basis for classifying an increasing number of HEIs which on the part of policy-makers will enable them to target policies and programs to categories of similar and related institutions.
For students, they will be better able to identify the appropriate institutions for them and make better informed choices. Business and industries would be able to determine which institutions to partner with. A typology that helps HEIs position themselves in the academic market was proposed by Zemsky and Massy (cited in Finn 1998). The mushroom-like proliferation of public HEIs charging extremely cheap tuition and fees but are actually substandard in terms of the quality of academic learning they offer to students is an addition to the concerns.
Since these public HEIs offer basically same programs with the private HEIs, despite this aspect on quality, private HEIs are given unfair competition. As a result, there is an influx of students to public HEIs, thus, a greater demand for subsidized higher education and the sad outcome is that all of these, at the expense of basic education. B. According to Dr. Bernardo (1998), a classification scheme should be seful and could be utilized in order to obtain significant statistical values/data on the distribution of different types of HEIs in selected or assigned regions of the country. This could be used as a reference by CHED in rationalizing standards and making developmental interventions necessary to improve the present status or condition of our HEIs. To give concrete examples, he enumerated some parameters which includes library holdings, research outputs of faculty, faculty development programs, research programs development, to name a few.
According to Dr. Bernardo, a certain caveat should be heeded if only to further refine the current typology being used. He likewise proposed the adoption of a typology by the Commission itself for quality purposes. Dr. Bernardo opposes the opinion of some of the discussants that says Philippine universities cannot be typed for reasons that SUCs have been established for a variety of reasons such as politically while private schools are established religiously and academically. Dr.
Bernardo stresses that even in the United States where the Carnegie 2000 is being employed, some colleges exist as a result of land grants, some are state-funded and some which are funded for religious purposes. Dr. Bernardo agrees to the fact that indeed, simply typing HEIs is difficult that is why according to him, there should be a reckoning of the non-quantitative aspects of typing. He stated that funding is not solely limited to marine research but as a matter of fact, a significant number of funding exists for various types of social science research, technological and agricultural research.
He reiterated that there are so many funding for research worldwide but an institution definitely and logically needs to position itself first if it desires to be a Research University. II. Zemsky and Massy (Finn 1998) proposes a typology that helps HEIs position themselves in the academic market. According to Teichler (2003), the various HEIs may be grouped in terms of “types” which may be viewed as points in a spectrum.
This means that in the classification scheme, related types differ in terms of certain dimensions and that it is important to note that the relationships among types is regarded as a vertical dimension, emphasizing quality or status. Shulman said that the Carnegie 2000 Classification of Higher Education Institutions was originally intended to support research in higher education but was later on used for unintended purposes such as to establish rankings of HEIs, make decisions about institutional funding and guide allocation of grant programs.
Phil Baty , editor of the Times Higher Education Rankings, and editor at large of Times Higher Education reported that in Europe the introduction of classification in HEI created some fear that Europe-wide university classification will hamstring institutions since for a long-time it has been hailed as an antidote to traditional league tables – a transparent and fair way to compare a university’s performance with that of its peers. As a result there was an influx of criticisms raised about U-Map, the European Commission’s project to categorise every European university under a single classification system.
Critics have warned that the plan could “pigeonhole” universities, limiting if not disrupting their development during this period of globalization accompanied by rapid change which commences to a dramatic shake-up of the student market across Europe. Ray Land, professor of higher education at the University of Strathclyde, organised a conference on U-Map under the title “Towards a Classification of European Higher Education”. His opinion and findings parallels that of Fr.
Roderick Salazar when he told Times Higher Education that while the system could have obvious benefits in promoting diversity and raising the Continent’s global profile as the European Higher Education there had to be a proper debate about its potential effects. He added that this particular project which the European ministers of education and the European Commission have endorsed called for a great financial expense in the country, but unfortunately, not enough discussion about it have been conducted in the UK.
U-Map emerged from an August 2005 report, Institutional Profiles – Towards a Typology of Higher Education Institutions in Europe, part of a project led by the Centre for Higher Education Policy Studies at the University of Twente in the Netherlands. The U-Map team said the system “will not rank institutions league table-style, but will position them on a number of dimensions, each representing an aspect of function and performance”. This stand is similar to the point of view of the discussants and critics of Dr. Bernardo.
In the European system, six dimensions have been proposed: the educational profile (looking at degree levels and the subject areas covered); the student profile (including total enrolments and part-time numbers); research involvement (measuring research income, peer-reviewed publications and the like); involvement in knowledge transfer (judged by elements such as patents and licensing income); international orientation (including a measure for overseas academic staff); and regional orientation. Professor Land said that the classification would have clear benefits which includes allowing one to compare like with like.
He clarified that an authority would not compare Harvard University with Broken-Neck College, Missouri, for example and therefore it will provide information that is more useful and relevant. However, he added that there were pros and cons, as there will always be unintended consequences. Thus, he suggested that once an institution had been categorized, funding agencies and other stakeholders could start treating it according to that classification. As he mentioned, universities might not like to be categorized, or have their wings stocked in any direction. It is expected that if you are entrepreneurial, you will not want to be pigeonholed.
For that reason, the classifications would need to be kept under review since higher education sectors are not static, and Europe’s diverse institutions change their status and missions. This is a common opinion among authorities in education both in the Philippines and abroad. The challenges of globalization and increased competition have led to institutions developing new and innovative courses in areas where previously there had not been demand. This is true not only in Europe, the United States but also in Asia including the Philippines. These continuing changes may affect an institution’s place in the system.
Pam Tatlow, chief executive of the Million+ think-tank, said that the proposed classifications have all the arbitrary factors of any league table and will not at all help or contribute to the European research base or European Union institutions to compete globally. Professor Land also said that U-Map could possibly have significant effects on the student market. For example, UK students might start to see courses taught in English in Europe as a better option. They may see that it is cheaper to do a similar degree course with a better reputation in Sweden than in the UK. It alters the rules of engagement. Wendy Piatt, its director-general of the Russell Group of large research-intensive institutions was more positive when she welcomed publications that improved information for students in order to move away from fixed hierarchies to capture huge and positive diversity. But she that there is a need to wait for more details to determine exactly how useful the classification will be. Frederick So Pada, one of the consultants of PASUC, saw certain similarities and disparities on the program offerings and enrollment per program vis-a-vis charter mandate and areas of specialization using the SUC Leveling criteria.
He likewise noted that although he does not question the result of the study on typology, he was surprised to know that some universities were inappropriately classified. In other words, their classification did not match their actual behavior. III. Considering the various point of views presented, I would say that adopting a typology for the Philippine HEI’s is sound but I agree with the opinion of Fr. Roderick Salazar when he said that we must constantly be conscious and careful to see that the typology we are using is not final and accurate.
Therefore, it must not be used immediately as it is as basis for planning. We should be prepared and a lot open in making our own revisions or modifications for such classification in order to tailor-fit it to the needs of our local HEIs. This is considering what some of the experts, both locals and foreigners have accounted, that is, the Carnegie 2000 has its own set of flaws or weaknesses which showed up since its application in the United States. As a result, it yielded some criticisms or negative comments through the years. I likewise agree with another comment Fr.
Salazar gave when he reminded the discussants in one of the fora he attended that at some point, instead of merely focusing on rationalizing our higher education, our HEIs should instead get in the job of being and becoming what the institution was originally called to be. Dr. Bernardo also had a similar opinion when he said that the concern does not lie much on how CHED rationalizes the university system by type but more on the quality of that HEI. It really does not matter whether an institution is a Doctoral Research University, a Specialized institution a technological/agricultural College or a Community College.
If it is excellent in doing what it should be doing, then so be it. Otherwise, all it has to do is to continue to seek to improve in all aspects. Most schools in the Philippines start very modestly and grow into institutions that eventually develop and turn out to become what our country perfectly needs at that particular time considering its nature or resources. A very good example of this is the UP Los Banos, which up to present, continues to serve not only the country’s agricultural needs but even those of our neighboring countries needs as well.
We cannot deny the fact that our Philippine HEIs have a lot of improvement to undergo but the way this outcomes and typology is proposed, it would generate much disappointments and negativity in the higher education community if such a system as the Carnegie is to be introduced as it is. It would be best to introduce it prospectively – for all new colleges and all new universities. It would also be helpful to allow several models of universities, and not just the one-size-fits-all university type – which in fact doesn’t fit many long-practicing universities in the country.
Dr. Allan Bernardo clearly explained on how the granting of the HEI types, would be possible to evaluate the HEI outputs based on HEI types. Schools would choose their types based on the review of their own respective missions. A school which originally aims to serve based on a mission to respond to the needs of an LGU community would choose to be a community college. A school that was created to significantly contribute to the development of technical skills of our people would choose to be a professional college.
Thus, the resulting outputs of a particular HEI based on type would be a result of realigning itself as stated on its mission/vision. Because of this, those institutions who would like to focus on professional development need not worry about research and research publication in peer-reviewed journals. Therefore investments in institutional development would be better placed based on type/classification. The output quality would then be measured according to the inputs according to type. Assessment would be gruesome and confusing.
This education sector concerned would as a result metamorphose to become what originally it was called and created to be, that is an excellent HEI. Simply making use of parameters such as how many laboratories are existing, academic degrees, facilities that are inputted into an instructional system as the main tool for assessing an institutional type, is definitely not a very reliable basis for classification. One has to take the trouble to assess an instructional system in terms of what it actually produces, not on a one-time study, but it has to be a long-term assessment if it wishes to be accurate and reliable.

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