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UK autonomous, autonomy on staffing, strings attached…

More details from the EUA autonomy scorecard: UK most autonomous; More autonomy on staffing; Strings attached; Autonomy in maps.

UK most autonomous

The UK is ranked in the top three on all four university autonomy scorecards published by the EUA. But the division between highly autonomous universities in northern European countries and less autonomous universities in the east and south is not as marked as might have been expected, says report author and EUA official Thomas Estermann. For example Poland and the Czech Republic score more highly than Estermann expected.

More autonomy on staffing

Not all countries have the same degree of autonomy in the four dimensions measured: organisational, financial, staffing and academic autonomy. European universities generally enjoy more autonomy in terms of staffing than in other areas, but salaries are often restricted by external authorities. “This can act as a considerable obstacle when seeking to attract talented academic and administrative staff in a competitive international environment,” the report argues.

Strings attached

Not only has the economic crisis led to cuts in university budget, but public money increasingly comes with strings attached, the EUA study says. Funds “are increasingly subject to restrictions placed on their allocation, or accompanied by more stringent accountability rules. This has given public authorities greater steering power over universities,” the authors said.

Autonomy in maps

At the end of January 2012 the European University Association will make the autonomy score card data available in an interactive, visual format on a public website.