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Growth Strategies Case Study

Case Title:

John Hood's Plans to Reinvent Oxford University: The Challenges

Publication Year : 2006

Authors: Mercy Mathew, Souvik Dhar

Industry: Education

Region: UK

Case Code: GRS0141

Teaching Note: Available

Structured Assignment: Available


For over nine centuries, the name Oxford University has been synonymous with excellence in teaching and learning. But of late, it has faced tough competition from cash-rich US universities like Yale, Harvard and Stanford, drawing the best of teaching talent and students. Oxford encountered a severe resource crunch, and its old infrastructure was in need of revamping. In October 2004, Dr. John Hood, a New Zealander, was appointed as the Vice-Chancellor of the university. He planned to reinvent the university to give it an edge over others by focusing on three things: (1) developing the academic strategy; (2) reviewing matters of governance; and (3) upgrading the financial position of the university.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To highlight the strategies adopted by Hood to help Oxford regain its old glory
  • To highlight the challenges faced by Hood because of the opposition from academicians to change age-old practices
  • To discuss whether Hood will be successful in his endeavour.

Keywords : Dr John Hood; Oxford University; Decision-making system; Congregation; Private partnerships; Growth Strategies Case Study; Government grants; Tutorial teaching; Financial crunch; Oxford University Press; Academic strategy; Performance evaluation; Governance; Privatisation; Endowments; Reforms

Contents : 
Oxford University: High on Prestige Low on Dollars
John Hood’s Plans to Reinvent Oxford University
The Challenges
The World’s Top Universities
Academic World Ranking
Endowments Received by Top Universities in 2005
Profile of Dr. John Hood

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