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Mergers In Higher Education Sector

Mergers are mostly making the business firms and commercial institutes to excel in their resource in the time of financial crisis. When a company finds benefits in combining its business operations with another company its call merger of the companies. Large companies make mergers with small companies to diversify their business risk and they want to inter in new business fields. The reasons of small companies merger are that they want to grow, to save themselves from bankruptcy, achieve economies of scale and want to get the financial resources because large companies have better access to financial resources.

In the same way school, colleges and universities merges with each other to get benefits. Creating universities in developing nations has become a central focus of any government that tries to educate its people and cover the needs of the labor market. Higher education institutions strategically merge or formally combine with the aim of getting competitive advantages and mutual growth.

The number of countries decided to take initiative of merger of universities and try to solve the problems of institutions. . Our study is about the amalgamation of University of Wales in Newport with University of Glamorgan. This study focuses on the important features of these universities merger and knows about positive as well as negative aspects of this merger. This study also aims to make a proper management plan to deal with this project, with clear strategic objectives.

The Walsh Government charges the Higher Funding Council to make proposal for higher education for Wales. This proposal consists on large number of recommendations that suggested mergers and strategic relationships for all the universities in Wales. This plan clearly outlines to reduce the number of universities in Wales. There are lots of small institutions in Wales and that may only be achieved via a merger to bring significance to the over the education process. The Minister of education is responsible to consult the plan with higher education and present recommendations to Government of Wales. The proposal that the University of Wales should transform itself through merger was accepted and higher education restructuring is also approved the Government of Wales. The Wales Higher Education System has undergone a restructuring process of merging universities, technicians and colleges.

The University of Wales and University of Glamorgan start their discussion regarding to the mixture of two institutions and making a new University with mutual goals and objectives, which support the students, communities means all the stakeholders and economy of Wales.

Merger comes with lots of benefits but sometime merger leads the organization towards fail. There are many reasons behind the failure of mergers sometime these mergers are not suitable for human resource. Research shows that from 55% to 70% mergers are fail due to issues of human resource. Many educational mergers are fail in South Africa due to issue with human resource.

So in short the mergers of higher education are very complex, time-consuming, difficult to process and plan. The main reasons are thought to be leadership and effective project management implementation. Furthermore during the execution of the merger effective management performs a significant part in ensuring the implementations of change according to the plan and reduces all the difficulties in the way of university merger. If leading managers is committed and able to transfer a clearer vision with details of mission while explaining the nature and purpose for the organisation merger. In addition to these concentrating to personnel anxieties, and correspond clear guidelines of how the process will continue in the light of changing environment. If clear mission is communicated the employees will respect the organizations decision and will be willing to cooperate.

The level of concerns and conflict with respect to educational development depends on the kind of strategy that has been chosen. The modification strategy is generally more positive than the combination strategy.

The researchers have differentiated amid strategies for merger strategies like bottom up process or it can be a top-down process while the process can also be combination of both.

Merger processes that use a strategy with a high degree of “bottom up” input are often smooth and successful. There are a lot of reasons for this: first, the newly merged institution has a better chance to create agreement among partners, and the second viable option is to try and create a common identity among staff to ease the process through change. As contributors in the process, they are intensely motivated and charged to gain agreement for the future goals of the new institution. However, academic staff is often more committed to their work and their professional identity than their HEI.

The degree of voluntariness also seems to have an impact on the mergers. Experience has shown that the voluntary mergers usually are more successful than forced mergers. This is often mainly due to the fact that state-initiated mergers are initiated by educational authorities and not requested as such by the employees.

Another characteristic of a merger process is that it is time consuming; it often takes place in the situation of a tight time frame. In a merger a problem can occur while triggering a chain reaction turning the process in to a crisis like situation. Results from this study could influence managers of troubled merged institutions to improve the strategic management and project management of their institutions.

Objective #1: Using Project management Principles to design an effective merger process

Objective #2: To conceptualize a collaboration framework in a merger setting

Higher education systems have various models and mechanisms to enhance the level of collaboration among merging institutions to achieve the restructuring. The important drivers of this framework are to increase the efficiency and effectiveness in coping with the substantial and rapid growth of the student number in institutions.

The current research has determine some findings regards with collaboration in merging institutes

Objective #3: To define effectiveness of merger to achieve increased efficiency

It is analyzed from research that effective mergers have such efficiency that make them more likely to be successful than others. Effectiveness of mergers can make them prior to other organizations by developing its planning, new institution strategy and its human and cultural elements. It is observed that there are significant challenges for mergers including funding, management, and communication among students, collaboration and involvement of stakeholders to form a single organization and to achieve success, competitive advantage and effectiveness of mergers.

It is revealed from different researches that percentage of successes in institutional mergers is more than that of failure. Effective merger can increase the efficiency of the organizations as we have identified from different interviewees that strength of students have been increased and modifications takes place in system also. Economy of the institutions has also increased by effective merger strategy.

There are further findings about the effectiveness of mergers are:

It has also provide the opportunities for skill building, chance for better practice and mobilization in higher education for planning and control have also been reported.       

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