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Universities and regions — the role of regional engagement in the development of new universities in India

Misra, Debananda; (2019) Universities and regions — the role of regional engagement in the development of new universities in India. Doctoral thesis (Ed.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This study explores the role of regions in the development of new universities in India. It was carried out in seven national-level single disciplinary universities—referred to as higher education institutions (HEIs)—established by the government. The HEIs were aged between eight to twenty years old; and were situated in semi-urban, urban and metropolitan regions. I collected the data by conducting semi-structured interviews with seventy-three faculty members in the HEIs, and from official documents, media reports and opinion pieces about the HEIs. Using the conceptual frameworks about institutionalisation of regional engagement of universities and path dependency, I investigated the tensions and challenges faced by the new HEIs for leveraging contributions from the regions, and the factors that shaped their openness to engage with the regions. I find that the placement of the HEIs in their corresponding regions—an exogenous contingent event—, and the influential role their Heads can have effects that are hard to shake off causing their path dependent evolution. Having to develop their infrastructure and constrained by resources, the new HEIs started their academic programmes first, followed by research activities, that led to reactive sequences reinforcing their evolutionary paths. Three antecedents—historical relational networks, threshold resources, and institutional legacies— influenced the tensions and challenges faced by the new HEIs as they engaged with the region during their path formation and development phases of their evolutionary paths. I used the conceptual frameworks of path plasticity and motivational systems theory to find that the varied goals of faculty—developing an institute of national cadre, achieving disciplinary excellence, and social responsibility—shaped their openness to engage with the region. I revise the conceptual framework for regional engagement of universities with additional enablers or constraints applicable for new national level HEIs in India.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ed.D
Title: Universities and regions — the role of regional engagement in the development of new universities in India
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2019. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
Keywords: Higher education, New universities, Path dependency, Regional engagement
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10073902
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