Higher education is widely understood to be key to improving the future prospects of many across the globe. It is perceived as a critical determinant of the life chances of individuals who take up its learning opportunities, and important to regional communities and countries which benefit from the influence of education at this level. The international community also has high expectations: without exception, the UN international agreements and reports of the last twenty years call for universities and colleges to respond to the major social, economic, environmental and cultural challenges of our day (GUNI, 2012). This follows an acknowledgement that universities have a record of leading economic development and social change through scientific breakthroughs as well as through the education of opinion-leaders, decision-makers and future-makers (Cortese, 2003; Elton, 2003; Lozano, 2006). The latter is well documented; studies confirm that 2 per cent of the world population attend higher education but more than 80 per cent of the decision-makers in industry, community and politics are graduates of universities (Scott et al., 2012).