In the last few decades, global changes such as an ever more integrated world economy, new technologies or the emergence of an international knowledge network have increasingly determined developments in European higher education. Policymakers have addressed these challenges using processes that support the practical orientation of higher education, including university-business cooperation. Because employers are becoming important stakeholders and partners in the creation of higher education policy, the future developers of higher education need to know what employers expect of future development and whether they will meet or resist those expectations when it comes to their input. In this article, we identify the areas that need to be improved upon and examine the ways in which employers’ experiences with higher education determine their perceptions of it. Building on the EMCOSU (Emerging Modes of Cooperation between Private Sector Organisations and Universities) survey, we analysed the responses of professionals of 397 companies based in five European countries. The analysis indicated that the level at which companies participated in university-business cooperation strongly influenced their perception of the way higher education institutions should develop. To be precise, those with greater experience in university-business cooperation pressed for more strategic cooperation between universities and business, more support for the international orientation of academic institutions, and less attention to the immediate valorisation of applied research, practical orientation and short-term skill development.
Tomaz Dezelan, Jason Laker, and Samo Pavlin. "What Determines Enterprises’ Perceptions of Future Development in Higher Education – Strange Bedfellows?" European Journal of Education (2016): 107-125. doi:10.1111/ejed.12169