Evaluating the brokers

Knight, Peter (2003). Evaluating the brokers. In: Jackson, Norman J. ed. Engaging and changing higher education through brokerage. Monitoring change in education. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate Publishing, pp. 86–106.

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During the 1990s, UK higher education was transformed through the full panopoly of levers available to government - legislation, funding to encourage expansion and change, regulation and a national review. As we enter the 21st century, new organizational agents acting as brokers are emerging as important facilitators of systemic change. The central argument in this book is that brokering is a process that facilitates change at all levels of the education system and enables UK higher education to be more adaptive and responsive to society and the global marketplace. The educational broker is a facilitator who connects people, networks, organizations and resources to support change. The process is key to creating new innovative capacities involving partnerships that are now required of a socially attuned and continuously adaptive mass system. The educational brokerage role also includes activities that might be associated with the business world - where the broker is an agent, promoter, dealer or trader, or the political world - where the broker is a diplomat, mediator and negotiator. There has been little recognition, description or analysis of brokerage which is essential to the rapid development and utilization of knowledge in a large, complex, diverse, multipurpose and autonomous HE system. These new capacities offer exciting possibilities for advancing UK HE and for gaining competitive advantage. This volume provides, through a series of organizational case studies, important new insights into the ways in which change is being brokered by national bodies like the Learning and Teaching Support Network, University for Industry, the e-university and the Quality Assurance Agency. It also provides an overview of the international scene to show that UK higher education is leading the world in this approach to the development of a higher education system.

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