An Interdisciplinary Look Behind the Top 100 International Universities Recognized for Innovation: Geographically, Historically, and Financially


The need for higher education institutions to strategically innovate proves no small feat given strong heritage and reputations for being slow to change. In fact, the international universities most recognized for innovation by Reuters (2018) span distinctive eras from around the world with the oldest such as Oxford, founded in 1096, and Harvard, dubbed the oldest “corporation” in the United States, founded in 1636. Through an interdisciplinary examination of the top 100 innovation list for the international institutions recognized, the following research question will be explored: How do international universities recognized for innovation compare and contrast geographically, historically, and financially? The research design focuses on a content analysis by conducting an archival review of higher institutional data for high research universities. Geographic findings report international innovative universities to primarily represent three continents (46 in the U.S., 26 in Europe, and 22 in Asia). Historically, most universities were founded over two hundred years ago yet the newest, National University of Singapore, emerged in 1980. Financially, all countries benefit from strong GDPs and institutional financial strengths – some with historically strong endowments to others with dedicated government appropriations. While the use of rankings has been cautioned if taken at face value, the Reuters listing represents a starting point to more closely examine institutions that have been recognized for innovating and adapting effectively. This presentation will close with opportunities for further interdisciplinary study with specific opportunities identified through the grounding of institutional theory as a means for institutions to examine legitimacy and isomorphism.

Author Information
Kate Montgomery, Southern Methodist University, United States

Paper Information
Conference: ECE2020
Stream: Educational policy

This paper is part of the ECE2020 Conference Proceedings (View)
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