De Academie van Wetenschappen in Korea heeft het boek van de oud-minister en voormalig UM-voorzitter gehudigd als 'the best international book of 2011'. Het werd daartoe opgenomen in het programma van de Academie voor "Supporting the selection and distribution of outstanding books".
Yoon en Ritzen - voortaan door zijn vrienden plagend toegesproken als Kim Jong Jo - winnen hiermee een prijs van 15 miljoen Won, zo'n €10.000. Ritzens analyse in zijn boek is gebruikelijk scherp "The present position of Europe's universities is something like a bronze Olympic medal: very well represented among the world's top 200 universities, but almost absent in the top 50." U vindt het als pdf in zijn geheel hier.
Zijn executive summary geeft aan waar
hij met name op mikt:
"European universities are underexploited - economically, culturally and socially - for a stronger Europe. There is an urgent need to alter the context for European universities so that they can strengthen the European competitive position through economic innovation, increased social cohesion and a more vibrant cultural dynamism.
The present position of Europe's universities is something like a bronze Olympic medal: very well represented among the world's top 200 universities, but almost absent in the top 50. Society's feelings about universities are likewise lukewarm, sometimes ecstatic but also often critical on the ivory tower image.
Europe has to choose to go for gold in a world competition with a strong US system of Higher Education and newly emerging runner ups like China and India. The unbalanced demographics in the world - with a virtually constant supply of graduates in the developed West and a potentially fast increase in the number of graduates in developing countries - pose both new threats and new opportunities for European universities.
Europe can cash in on the opportunities by innovating its higher education, taking into account the lesson learned on effective education for an international labour market, on the valorisation of knowledge but also on the matching and selection of students. The context needs to be changed to make European universities more successful:
- The Bologna process has to be denationalized with European-wide accreditation and quality control.
- The organization of universities should be moved on from bureaucratic to innovative.
- The finance needs to be rebalanced so that the public budget cuts of the past decades can be met by private sources.
The 2008/2009 economic crisis (never waste a good crisis) is an excellent opportunity for a paradigm shift all over Europe to promote excellence together with emancipation of the new Europeans in universities. European universities: yes, they can do so much more for Europe."