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Policy issue 4: Underdeveloped capacity for leadership and sustained implementation

Many OECD countries have undergone profound changes in the way they govern their tertiary education system with greater institutional autonomy, a move towards market type-mechanisms and performance-based financing models being among their key features (OECD, 2008b, 2009; World Bank, 2014a). These developments require fundamental changes in leadership capacity at both the national and institutional levels.

The review however found that the capacity to lead and implement the desired changes at the national level is limited. Challenges include capacity within MoES, whose staff are few; a fragmented governance structure involving seven ministries; and limited capacity for policy analysis and monitoring. MoES should therefore invest in strengthening its own capacity, including ensuring the quality of data monitoring and reporting systems. Latvia should also consider consolidating responsibility for the funding and operation of all tertiary education institutions within MoES. It should also ensure consistent high-level representation of issues related to tertiary education, science and innovation at the level of the Cabinet of Ministers, to ensure co-ordination across the government, especially with the nation’s strategies related to economic development.

At the institutional level, institutional autonomy needs to be better matched with public accountability. The limited inclusion of external representatives in institutional strategic planning and management should be resolved, and institutional leaders should pay more attention to building the capacity of the academic and other staff on which the success of reform depends. Proper human resource management should be a priority for institutional leaders.

 
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