An investigation of mission differentiation and specialization in Turkish universities in the context of strategic objectives
This study examines and compares the strategic objectives of the universities included in the “mission differentiation and specialization on the basis of regional development” project carried out in the Turkish higher education system and well-established universities in Turkiye. Therefore, the aim of this study is to determine how the goal of “mission differentiation and specialization on the basis of regional development” is tried to be realized in the higher education system and whether this goal really brings a difference to the activities of universities. The study was conducted through document review. The universities included in the study were determined by criterion sampling and two different study groups were formed for comparison. The first study group consisted of the universities involved in the mission differentiation project. The second study group consisted of the well-established universities located in various geographical regions of Turkiye. Data were analyzed through the content analysis. The strategic objectives of the universities were examined under the themes of increasing quality in education, increasing the quantity and quality of scientific research, improvement of communication and interaction with stakeholders, strengthening of corporate identity/structure/ensuring institutionalization and internationalization. The strategic objectives of the universities with mission differentiation are also analyzed in terms of leading local and regional development. The results of the research show that universities subject to mission differentiation and well-established universities have different qualifications only in terms of “leading local and regional development” and “strengthening community service studies.” However, there are also points where goals and performance indicators depending on these strategic objectives are resembled. The similarities in the strategic objectives of the universities show that the missions of the universities with mission differentiation and specialization should first be clarified based on a general framework provided by the Council of Higher Education. In line with the guiding framework, universities should establish their unique strategic objectives in the strategic planning process in order to contribute to regional development.
Received: 20 October2021
Accepted: 7 October 2022
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