Implementing university administration and management to utilize university IR (Institutional Research)

 

Implementing university administration and management to utilize university IR (Institutional Research)

Overview

Promoting reforms to better utilize IR is essential in order to realize Hokkaido University’s three strategies to strengthen its research capabilities: “diversify human resources”, “create cutting-edge research and disseminate results to the world”, and “enhance societal cooperation to solve global problems”.
To this end, in July 2017 an URA was assigned to both the Research Development Section and as the assistant to the director of the Office of Institutional Research, under the president’s direct control. This assistant works not only to analyze data, but also to strengthen the university’s management strategies and to promote reforms that utilize IR in a comprehensive way, including for research, finances, and education.

In the Office of Institutional Research, both the president and assistants to the president implement various management strategy projects. These projects are aimed at the following three goals: management structure, management analysis, and educational reforms.

Also, as part of the effort to establish and improve research infrastructure relating to the university’s administration and management, the Research Development Section promotes independent “research infrastructure IR that utilizes the operations of the Global Facility Center.” We plan and implement measures for the efficient use of research funds and equipment and the appropriate allocation of staff involved in research, equipment, and research budgets.

 

List of activities

Investigating university management strategy based on data analysis

IR refers to information gathering and survey research to support strategy formation and decision-making in university management (i.e., to develop research strategies and educational reform and to promote social contributions). The Research Development Section is collaborating with the Office of Institutional Research to achieve the university’s long-term goals and seek to improve university’s governance through the effective utilization of IR in management strategy and administration.
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Administration and management strategies that utilize research infrastructure (research and educational facilities, etc.)

The Global Facility Center (GFC) was established as an important platform to increase global awareness of Hokkaido University as an international research center. A central part of the GFC’s work involves constructing a framework for the sharing of advanced equipment and technical specialists so the university can continue to do advanced research. These programs include:

  • The GFC
  • Open Facility Platform
  • Project to Promote an Advanced Research Infrastructure

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Surveys and feasibility studies on commercialization of university facilities

We are engaged in various projects to make full use of Hokkaido University’s advantageous geographical position and facilities. Specifically, URA serve as members of the Facilities Environmental Management Task Force and the Working Group for the Formulation of the Campus Master Plan to devise strategies, building systems, and in-university networks to commercialize use of university facilities.
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Team members

Shingo Ebata (Chief Officer)

Deputy Director of the Research Development Section, Research Development Office
Senior Research Manager
Adviser to the Global Facility Center

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Activity details

Investigating the university’s management strategy based on data analysis

IR refers to information gathering and survey research to support strategy formation and decision-making in university management (i.e., to develop research strategies and educational reforms and to promote social contributions). The Research Development Section is collaborating with the Office of Institutional Research to achieve the university’s long-term goals and seek to improve university’s governance through the effective utilization of IR in management strategy and administration.

To accomplish this, the Research Development Section has used numerical data, such as the number of published papers and citations, to ascertain Hokkaido University’s strongest research fields. We are using this data to implement a strategy to differentiate Hokkaido University from other universities and to improve the university’s external evaluations through better management. We are also focusing on the close link between education and research, ascertaining students’ proficiency levels from the time of admission until graduation and conducting analyses that will contribute to an education policy unique to Hokkaido University. This policy will strengthen the university’s research capabilities by enhancing the education it provides.

Part of this program involves actively analyzing data in order to improve the efficiency of the university’s operations. For example, we have already accumulated partial financial information for all departments and divisions and their track records in acquiring external funds, as well as data on university-owned land and buildings. We are looking into designing a data infrastructure utilizing this information.

<Examples of activities>

Structural reforms to achieve long-term goals

Hokkaido University has set university-wide long-term goals and indicators in each of its three strategies to strengthen research capabilities—diversifying human resources, creating cutting-edge research and disseminating its results worldwide, and enhancing societal cooperation to solve global problems. In order to achieve these goals, the URA are gathering data from the relevant departments, researchers, etc. and working to create a database of the relevant data prepare a manual detailing analysis procedures.

Demonstrating the university’s education and research and administration and management capabilities

We are conducting analyses in order to ascertain Hokkaido University’s strengths and weaknesses compared to other domestic and international universities and research institutions. This information is proving useful in planning of the university’s reform strategy. In particular, we are compiling data and analyses relating to education and research and administration and management to create the Hokkaido University Fact Book, which will be distributed to the general public and published on Hokkaido University’s official website. The URA are also proposing specific policies and measures to executive departments based on our results, such as the Program for Promoting the Enhancement of Research Universities and the Top Global University Project.

Educational reforms to improve the quality of education

In order to guarantee that the education provided by Hokkaido University is of high quality, we are also working to incorporate IR into educational and academic fields. The Research Development Section is investigating institutional improvements and raising awareness. This includes conducting questionnaires among teachers and students and gathering information on educational affairs both within and outside the university.

In February 2015, the Research Development Section worked with the Faculty of Science, the Graduate School of Life Science, and the Faculty of Advanced Life Science to plan and implement the Course to Train Facilitators, a problem-solving PBL (project-based learning) curriculum. This course aims to train facilitators who can smoothly and effectively conduct workshops that increase students’ motivation to participate in lessons and encourage their independent learning. Thirty-two people from fifteen departments (including four doctoral students) participated in this course.

Administration and management strategies that utilize research infrastructure (research and educational facilities, etc.)

Global Facility Center (GFC) was established as an important platform to increase global awareness of Hokkaido University as an international research center. A central part of the GFC’s work involves constructing a framework for the sharing of advanced equipment and technical specialists so the university can continue to do advanced research.

Global Facility Center (GFC)

In 2016, Hokkaido University was chosen to participate in the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology’s Project to Establish Equipment Support Center and Project for Sharing Advanced Research Infrastructure. The Project for Sharing Advanced Research Infrastructure is comprised of two program categories: the introduction of a new sharing system and the formation of a sharing platform. Hokkaido University is participating in both these programs and it has the most centers of any participant nationwide. GFC, established in January 2016, plays a central role in this project.

GFC is implementing new measures to grow research infrastructure based in the following three concepts: human resources education and training, recycling, and industry-academia collaborations. Based on research infrastructure IR, it aims to promote the efficient use of research funds and expensive research equipment and the appropriate allocation of human, physical, and financial resources within the university.
GFC’s work is not limited to promoting sharing or optimizing the use of research equipment by recycling equipment lying dormant within the university. Rather, its projects are diverse and include building an open facility system, analyzing outsourcing for users within and outside the university, acquiring orders for prototypes and processing using highly-skilled technicians, and deploying a GFC database to promote international collaborations.

GFC events

Click here for information on other events

Date held Event
March 10, 2014 1st Hokkaido University Open Facility Symposium
January 22, 2015 2nd Hokkaido University Open Facility Symposium
January 22, 2015 1st Hokkaido University Symposium on the Project to Establish Equipment Support Center
February 3, 2016 3rd Hokkaido University Open Facility Symposium: “Global Facility Center Kickoff Symposium”
November 29, 2016 16th URA Advanced Seminar (co-hosted by GFC): “The Management of Nippon Light Metal Company, Ltd.”
January 31, 2017 4th Hokkaido University Open Facility Symposium
Prototype Machining Solutions Project

Hokkaido University has technical staff with valuable skills in various academic fields, including machine engineering, thin-section (hakuhen) technologies, and glasswork. The GFC has implemented the Prototype Machining Solutions Project to take advantage of the technical staff’s advanced, proprietary skills for prototype orders received from companies and others outside the university. This project not only generates funds, it also creates various other benefits, including increasing public relations to communicate the technologies and skills the university possesses and the activation of its technical specialists.
Click here for Prototype Machining Solutions Project website

Reuse and Recycle: The Equipment Market Project

The equipment market is a system for buying and selling used research equipment. Hokkaido University launched this program in order to improve the efficiency of research funds. It aims to support the work of young researchers who find it hard to obtain large research grants and for whom it is difficult to purchase expensive research equipment and to encourage the efficient use of research equipment across the university. Researchers can offer and sell their used equipment they are no longer using or offer them free of charge, and other researchers can purchase this equipment at inexpensive prices.
Click here for the equipment market website

 

Surveys and feasibility studies on commercialization of university facilities

engaged in various projects to make full use of Hokkaido University’s advantageous geographical position and facilities. Specifically, URA serve as members of the Facilities Environmental Management Task Force and the Working Group for the Formulation of the Campus Master Plan to devise strategies, building systems, and in-university networks to commercialize use of university facilities.
Click here for more details on Hokkaido University’s Campus Master Plan

 


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