The term “autonomous university'” typically refers to a university which exercises independent control over its day to day operations and curriculum. Alternatively, the term, along with the term “autonomous open university'”, can characterize an entity that provides higher education on the Internet autonomously and without human presence or involvement.
This differs distinctly from a “virtual” or “open” university which is a brand extension of a physical university on the Internet.  British Universities benefit from the greatest freedom from Europe, according to a report by the European University Association (EUA).
0 The study ‘University Autonomy in Europe II – The Scorecard’ analysed higher education systems in Europe in four areas of autonomy: organisation, finance, staffing and academic autonomy. The project covered higher education institutes in 26 countries. The UK scored the highest in all four autonomy areas, with British universities scoring 94. 75% overall. Estonia, Finland and Ireland followed behind the UK, all scoring more than 81%. Greece was at the bottom of the ranking with a score of only 33%. Cyprus, France and Turkey all also achieved less than 50% on average.
The power to set student numbers, to start and close academic programmes, design course content were all indicators taken into account in the study. Thomas Estermann, author of the study and head of the EUA’s Governance, Autonomy and Funding Unit, said: ‘This report and the publication of the autonomy scorecards are designed to engage all higher education stakeholders in a more in-depth debate on autonomy and ultimately help improve national higher education systems. ‘Autonomy does not mean the absence of regulations.
Universities accept the challenges of working in a competitive global environment, but to do so they need the necessary managerial freedom, light and supportive regulatory frameworks and sufficient financing, otherwise they will be placed at a disadvantage. ’
The European University Association (EUA) represents and supports higher education institutions in 47 countries, providing them with ‘a unique forum to cooperate and keep abreast of the latest trends in higher education and research policies. ’ The EUA published its first report on autonomy in 2009.
A statement from them recognised that although universities have been given more autonomy since then, more still needs to be done. ‘Since EUA published its first report on autonomy in 2009, there have been encouraging signs that recent reforms in a number of countries have indeed given universities more autonomy.
However, EUA believes there are still many constraints which limit institutional performance. ‘With regard to financial autonomy, a number of countries still do not allow universities to freely allocate funds internally or to retain surpluses, thus limiting their capacity for effective long-term planning and strategic development.
For the same reason, EUA also believes that governments should extend the length of funding periods. ‘The study has also found some worrying signs that the economic crisis and austerity measures have, in some cases, led to tighter controls of university budgets, thereby creating unnecessary administrative burdens and reducing financial autonomy. ’ http://www. thenationalstudent. com/News/2011-11-17/UK_Universities_Most_Autonomous_in_Europe,_According_to_Report. html ————————————————- THE UNIVERSITY AUTONOMY IN INDIA.
The idea and the Reality Bhims Dahiya The University Autonomy in India is an outstanding work by one of the most knowledgeable and experienced academic administrators in India today. Defining the dynamics of the changing idea of the university in all its various dimensions, the book shows how the realities surrounding the Indian universities have, over the years, derailed these Institutions from their assigned social role of producing healthy human resource for the spiritual as well as material advancement of the nation.
Making a free and frank review of the various Education Commissions’ Reports and showing an unsparing attitude to the politico-bureaucratic meddling in the affairs of the universities, it offers new ideas on the subject of structural management of higher education. The book offers both short-term remedies as well as long-term solutions to the burning problems of eroding autonomy and sinking standards in the dominion of the dons. ISBN:81-85952-86-8 Rs. 200 ————————————————- Books & Journals http://www. iias. org/p-university-autonomy. html.