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Higher education institutions (HEIs) face a number of challenges in effectively managing and reporting on sustainability information, such as siloes of data and a limited…
Higher education institutions (HEIs) face a number of challenges in effectively managing and reporting on sustainability information, such as siloes of data and a limited distribution of information. Business intelligence (BI) can assist in addressing the challenges faced by organisations. The purpose of this study was to propose a BI framework for strategic sustainability information management (the Sustainable BI Framework) that can be used in HEIs.
The research applied the design science research methodology whilst using a South African HEI as a case study. The problems with sustainability information management were identified, and a theoretical framework was proposed. In addition, a practical BI software tool was developed as proof of concept to address these problems and to assist with the management of strategic sustainability information in an HEI.
The proposed sustainability BI tool was evaluated through heuristic and usability evaluations with senior management. The results indicated that the usability of the BI tool was positively rated and that the framework can assist in overcoming the constraints that HEIs face in effectively managing sustainability information.
The research was limited to a single case. However, the theoretical framework was derived from and expanded on existing stakeholder theory, sustainability reporting theory and literature on BI dashboard development. The framework was implemented successfully in the Sustainable BI Tool prototype at the case study, and the results reveal in-depth information regarding information management for sustainability reporting in higher education.
The Sustainable BI Tool is a solution that integrates data from multiple areas of sustainability and provides a single integrated view of the information to stakeholders. The information is provided through performance dashboards, which provide predictive capabilities to enable management to report on sustainability and determine if the institution is meeting its strategic goals. The lessons learnt can also assist other HEIs considering implementing BI for sustainability reporting.
Improved sustainability reporting for HEIs provided by the BI framework can improve the environmental and social impact of the educational community.
This study provides the most comprehensive framework for guiding the design of a BI tool to assist in effectively managing sustainability information in HEIs.
The cooperative education model adopted by Universities of Technology in South Africa embodies the notion that both education and training are equally essential. It…
The cooperative education model adopted by Universities of Technology in South Africa embodies the notion that both education and training are equally essential. It incorporates productive work into the curriculum as a regular and integral element of a higher education course. The present model involves three cooperative partners namely, the university, student and employer. It should, therefore, be evident that cooperative education has two main components, namely an academic component and an experiential learning component, both of which are integral to its success. To enable students to understand the relationship between academic subjects and the world of work, cooperative education involves restructuring the educational experience. For some time, industry employer representatives have suggested that education and training offered at Universities of Technology do not always address the needs of industry. They argue that graduates lack the necessary theoretical skills, training and managerial understanding to ensure immediate meaningful employment. These inadequacies contribute to unemployment and the lack of advancement opportunity within their chosen careers. In addition, there is a need to examine the perceptions of students regarding course content before they go into industry. This was the motivation for this research. The aims of the research project are twofold. Firstly, to examine the course content offered within the civil engineering diploma programme, and secondly to measure the levels of subject satisfaction. Using an exploratory approach through a survey of 123 students, this study explores the course content and satisfaction levels based on study areas in the first year program. The results indicate that students generally perceive the subject Communication Skills to be least satisfying whereas Mathematics is considered to be the most satisfying subject. This paper concludes by presenting the subject satisfaction index tool which contributes to the range of intervention strategies as envisaged by the CIDB. This further contributes towards the improvement of the overall quality of University of Technology civil engineering academic programs and also the subsequent productive employability of its graduates.
This paper aims to assess the perception of the Ghanaian construction industry of the performance of entry‐level building technology graduates. Also, other non‐technical…
This paper aims to assess the perception of the Ghanaian construction industry of the performance of entry‐level building technology graduates. Also, other non‐technical skills or attributes expected from building technology graduates are to be compared with the actual proficiency of the graduates.
The findings in this paper are based on a series of interviews and structured questionnaire survey of randomly selected contractors and consultants in the Ghanaian construction industry.
The overall performance of the graduates was considered acceptable by the construction industry. However, much more needed to be done in “coordination” and “scheduling” of site activities by graduates who work as site managers, and in “coordination of site activities” and “issuance of site instructions” for those who work as project managers for contractors. There was a considerable gap between the expectations of the construction industry practitioners and the actual proficiency of building technology graduates in “initiative and creativity”, “practical building knowledge”, “ability to define and solve problems”, and other equally important attributes. The graduates, however, met the expectations of contractors in “computer literacy”, “communication skills”, and “interpersonal skills”, and consultants in “computer literacy” and “leadership capability”.
The results of the study enable entry‐level graduates to realize their deficiencies for continual improvement, and the training institution to develop training curricula responsive to the needs of the industry.
Even though results from this study generally show a disparity in the expected and actual proficiency levels of building technology graduates, as frequently reported in the literature, it provides a new insight into this problem by providing evidence to the effect that the problem is only manifest in some specific non‐technical skill requirements.
SCARBOROUGH, as a conference town, will be remembered for a long time, because for a few days it provided perfect weather, after one of the dreariest Springs of which there is record. This was not unbroken, because for two days there was a good deal of rain, but, on the whole, the impression that remains is good. Weather has an important bearing on these meetings, for when weather breaks at them, tempers may also break—as they did at the Annual Business Meeting, which in some ways was the most unseemly we remember. The Mayor and Mayoress made capital hosts; the Chairman of the Libraries Committee, Councillor T. Laughton, was a young and worthy host in himself as well; and Mr. Smettem and his staff had given much work to arrangements for the comfort of the guests which were entirely successful. Added to this, as we anticipated would be the case, the Scarborough Public Library proved to be unusually attractive, and if the tribute that it was the best organized in England (which Mr. E. A. Savage paid to it at the Annual Dinner) was in a somewhat high key, few desired to find fault with it.
In the first of the eleven essays making up this book, Bevir and Trentmann state the perspective unifying them. Against the rise of a “neo-liberal discourse” idealizing the market as a beneficial coordinating mechanism, Bevir and Trentmann point to the embeddedness of markets.1 In particular, they assert their cultural embeddedness, arguing that “how precisely any particular state or market operates will depend on how it is governed by a host of beliefs, discourses, practices, and institutions” (p. 10). The first goal of the volume is to provide historical case studies illustrating the richness of past conceptualizations of the relationship between society, markets, and the state (p. 2). The second goal is to reconsider the role played by “agency” in the history of capitalism.2 The editors argue against Karl Polanyi that liberals have not always been in favour of markets irrespective of social and environmental concerns, and that peasants and rural elites have not always defended traditional forms of social coordination. The general point is conveyed by the following passage: “The question was, for all these groups, not simply one of support or resistance to markets but about how markets should be embedded within social and political contexts. Social groups and intellectual traditions that were ambivalent about markets also helped to shape the contours and dynamics of capitalist societies” (p. 4). In other words, liberal market economies “arose as embedded within the context of particular types of civil society, which were themselves a contingent product of European history” (pp. 7–8).