The book explores the role of the world’s top universities and the positioning of Spanish institutions, against a backdrop of fast expanding knowledge, globalization and the digital transformation. It considers what leadership means in the university sector and how far global universities can aid in confronting today’s major challenges. Placing Spanish universities among the global elite is certainly an important goal, but more important still is that the university system is able to adapt to this changing scenario, to ensure that Spanish society shares in the opportunities that come with the advancement of knowledge.
The study identifies and characterizes leading global universities and the systems they are part of. It examines the place occupied by Spain’s universities in the international landscape and analyzes the differences and similarities between our most competitive universities and these world leaders. Consideration goes also to the currents of change affecting university systems, and the extent to which the challenges of accelerating knowledge generation, digitization and globalization are being harnessed and fostered by the top institutions.
The authors review abundant documentation and statistical information to arrive at a selection of a hundred leading universities. Using hierarchical clustering and perceptual mapping techniques, they distinguish seven groups of global universities. The qualitative analysis of the strategic documents of some thirty of these centers allows for an in-depth characterization of their leadership profiles. They then applying these same techniques to the Spanish case, to analyze the positioning of our most salient institutions.
The book is aimed at a readership interested in the functioning and results of university systems, both within universities (academics and administrators) and in their environment (policymakers, analysts, social partners or alumni).