Linda is a consulting competitive intelligence analyst. She has a thorough research background and holds a B Juris degree from the North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus). Her career includes 20 years in National Defence Intelligence (Counter Intelligence Division) on a national as well as international level, international postings and research and marketing at Integra and later Omega Risk Solutions , specialising in providing Risk and Integrity Assessments and solutions to companies and institutions in various industries in South Africa and elsewhere for the private market. Her favourate sport is gholf.
You asked about competitive drivers for universities. I've done some work on this in the UK and it depends on the university. They are not monolithic.
Ultimately it boils down to what they need to do to survive and gain funding to finance their staff. For some universities this is via top-level research so that corporates and governments fund their activities in the hopes that research will help them in the future. Such universities emphasise their research characteristics, try and attract the best academics and best post-grads. However under-grad teaching is just something they have to do - and may not be viewed as key except as another revenue source.
In contrast universities without the same research kudos will focus on teaching as their competitive driver. They'll aim to attract students by focusing on the student experience - and the results of gaining a degree through the institution. Teaching facilities may take preference over research laboratories, for example - and all faculty will be expected to teach. There may also be innovations in courses - with greater choice in delivery mechanism (e.g. e-learning, distance learning, part-time courses, sandwich courses, etc.) plus types of courses (e.g. unusual combinations or niche / minority subjects).
Hi Linda: Nice to ave you join our group. We like having Potch/N-WU grads and friends on here with us. Looking forward to your contributions and hoping you will find our group of value. Kind regards, Craig