Institutional Profiles: Some Strategic Tools

  • Frans van Vught European Centre for Strategic Management of Universities (ESMU), Netherlands
  • Jeroen Huisman Faculty of Political and Social Sciences, Ghent University
Keywords: innovation policy, activity and performance profiles, strategy, autonomy, mapping, ranking, benchmarking, degree profiles


In this paper we argue that both internal and external pressures and conditions urge contemporary higher education institutions to carefully think through their institutional profiles positions in domestic and global higher education contexts. We subsequently analyse strategic positioning from the strategic management literature and offer four tools — mapping, multi-dimensional ranking, benchmarking and degree profiling — to assist higher education institutions in their profiling and positioning strategies.

Published online: 4 July 2014


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Author Biographies

Frans van Vught, European Centre for Strategic Management of Universities (ESMU), Netherlands

Frans van Vught is currently a top-level expert and advisor to the European Commission and former President of the University of Twente (1997-2005), Netherlands. Professor Dr. Frans van Vught is also president of the European Centre for Strategic Management of Universities (Esmu), president of the Netherlands House for Education and Research (Nether), and member of the board of the European Institute of Technology Foundation (EITF). His many international functions also include memberships of the University Grants Committee of Hong Kong, of the board of the European University Association (EUA) (2005-2009), of the German ‘Akkreditierungsrat’ (2005-2009) and of the L.H. Martin Institute for Higher Education Leadership and Management in Australia. For most of his life, Professor van Vught has been a higher education researcher and has published widely in this field. Van Vught is a sought-after international speaker and has been a consultant to many international organisations, national governments, and higher education institutions.

Jeroen Huisman, Faculty of Political and Social Sciences, Ghent University

Jeroen Huisman is Professor at the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences, Ghent University (Belgium). His current research interests cover the (impacts of the) change from government to governance in higher education, the dynamics of organisational change, inertia and diversity in higher education, institutional management and governance, and internationalisation and Europeanisation. Professor Huisman has been involved in a number of national and international research projects, commissioned by national governments, the European Commission and the Organisation for Economic and Cultural Development. He has also been involved in various consultancy projects across the world. He is Editor of Higher Education Policy and SRHE Higher Education Book Series. He also is Chair of the Executive Committee of the European Higher Education Society (EAIR). Professor Huisman holds a PhD in Public Administration (University of Twente, The Netherlands).


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How to Cite
Vught, Frans van, and Jeroen Huisman. 2014. “Institutional Profiles: Some Strategic Tools”. Tuning Journal for Higher Education 1 (1), 21-36.