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University Dynamics and European Integration


Polish Higher Education and the European Higher Education and ... and often perverse incentives' 6 'The challenge for Europe is clear. But so is the solution' ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: University Dynamics and European Integration

University Dynamics and European Integration
  • Peter Maassen
  • Seminar NORPOL Project
  • Polish Higher Education and the European Higher
    Education and Research Areas. Comparative
    Analysis and the Transfer of Good Practices
  • Poznan, 2-4 September 2009

  1. European Higher Education Crisis?
  2. Order vs Autonomy Diversity
  3. Four Visions on University Governance and
  4. HE Reform in the Nordic countries Denmark,
    Finland, Norway and Sweden
  5. Conclusions

The European University faces a crossroads.
One path leading to despair and utter
the other to extinction.
Let us pray that it has the knowledge to choose
(Woody Allen)
After remaining a comparatively isolated
universe for a very long period, both in
relation to society and to the rest of the world,
with funding guaranteed and a status protected
by respect for their autonomy, European
universities have gone through the second half
of the 20th century without really calling into
question the role or nature of what they should
be contributing to society. The changes they are
undergoing today and which have intensified over
the past ten years prompt the fundamental
question Can the European universities, as
they are and are organized now, hope in the
future to retain their place in society and in
the world? (Commission 2003 22)
European higher education systems have fallen
behind over the last few decades, in terms of
participation, quality, and in research and
innovation our Universities are being held
back from delivering to society the various
benefits that they could provide unless the
etatist mentality is broken, European HE will not
only fail to catch up with the US, but it will
fall further behind in the years to come the
latest ranking from Shanghai Jiaotong University
finds that Europe may have boasted world-class
universities before America even appeared on
European maps, but today it is running behind in
the quality of graduates it produces European
universities suffer from poor governance,
insufficient autonomy, and often perverse
The challenge for Europe is clear. But so is
the solution
Claim Solutions will improve performance by
changing practices and structures developed over
long historical periods, as well as conceptions
of the proper role of government in the economy
and society. But The remedies offered are
celebrating private enterprises and competitive
markets and they can be seen as one size fits
all remedies or solutions looking for
problems in all sectors of society.
  • For example
  • link between autonomy and quality
  • link between management and performance
  • link between concentration and output
  • link between basic research and innovation

In general, based on Strong convictions, weak
  • Example
  • Claimed gap between educational revenues per
    student for European public
  • HEIs compared to US public higher education
  • Bruegel report (Aghion et al. 2008, p. 5)
  • the EU25 spends on average 8,700 per student
    versus 36,500 in the US
  • European Commission (2006)
  • there is a revenue gap of some 10,000 per
  • NCHEMS (2007) /
  • In 2007 the revenues per full-time equivalent
    student (public appropriations
  • and tuition revenues) were on average 10,618 for
    all public universities
  • and colleges in the USA

  • Post-Bologna Era
  • Bologna process absorbed into a complex set of
    processes, initiatives,
  • measures, policies aimed at further European
    integration of
  • Higher Education and Research.
  • Directives (e.g. Professional Recognition Large
    Mammals in Research
  • Admission of non-EU researchers Fast-track for
    Researchers visas )
  • - European Area Integration Processes
  • Copenhagen Process
  • Ljubljana Process (aimed at ERA revival
    launched 15.04.08)
  • European Qualification Framework (EQF)
  • European Research Council (ERC)
  • European Institute for Innovation and Technology
  • Boosting a single European labour market for
    researchers, incl.
  • pan-EU pension schemes for Researchers
  • - Erasmus Mundus Second Round (Budget 1
    billion), incl. PhD innovations

2. Order/Integration vs Disorder/Autonomy/Diversit
  • Clark (1983)
  • Forces that keep HE systems together
  • Forces that pull HE systems in different
    directions (diversity)
  • Olsen (2007)
  • Europe in Search of New Political Order
  • System level need for order
  • Need for Institutional autonomy

How to create/maintain balance between order and
Creating order in European HE systems
traditionally national issue, i.e. national
systems and adaptations of university autonomy
Emergence of European Higher Education Area /
European Research Area Creating balance no
longer solely a national issue there is also a
need to create a balance between a European
order in HE and European university autonomy
(European Carnegie classification)
3. Visions on University Governance and
Two different views on the university 1.
Instrumental 2. Institutional
Four visions of university organization and
governance (derived from institutional view
Olsen 2007)
Autonomy Conflict Internal factors dominant External/Environmental factors dominant
Shared norms and objectives Humboldt University as a rule-governed community of scholars Hierarchy University as a tool for national agendas
Conflicting norms and objectives Democracy University as a representative democracy Market University as service enterprise embedded in competitive markets
The university is a rule-governed community of
scholars Constitutive logic Identity based on
free inquiry, truth finding, rationality and
expertise. Criteria of assessment Scientific
quality. Reasons for autonomy Constitutive
principle of the university as an institution
authority to the best qualified. Change
Driven by the internal dynamics of science. Slow
reinterpretation of institutional identity.
Rapid and radical change only with performance
The university is a representative
democracy Constitutive logic Interest
representation, elections, bargaining and
majority decisions. Criteria of assessment Who
gets what Accommodating internal
interests. Reasons for autonomy Mixed
(work-place democracy, functional competence,
realpolitik). Change Depends on bargaining and
conflict resolution and changes in power,
interests, and alliances.
The university is a tool for national political
agendas Constitutive logic Administrative
Implementing predetermined political
objectives Criteria of assessment Effective and
efficient achievement of national
purposes. Reasons for autonomy Delegated and
based on relative efficiency. Change Political
decisions, priorities, designs as a function of
elections, coalition formation and breakdowns
and changing political leadership.
The university is a service enterprise embedded
in competitive markets Constitutive
logic Community service. Part of a system of
market exchange and price systems Criteria of
assessment Meeting community demands. Economy,
efficiency, flexibility, survival. Reasons for
autonomy Responsiveness to stakeholders and
external exigencies, survival. Change Competitiv
e selection or rational learning.
Entrepreneurship and adaptation to changing
circumstances and sovereign customers.
Diversity challenge variety in visions CORE
Under what conditions are professors, other
university employees, students and governments
likely to be fully committed to the vision of a
rule-governed community devoted to academic
values, excellence and freedom? 2. Hierarchy
Under what conditions are governments able and
willing to provide well defined and fairly stable
objectives for the University and forecast what
it takes to reach these objectives?
CORE QUESTIONS (cont.) 3. Democracy Under
what conditions will there be an identifiable
electorate in the university, representing
well-organized interests and well-informed
citizens, as well as political and societal
acceptance of university autonomy based on
internal, representative arrangements? 4.
Market Under what conditions are markets perfect
enough (few frictions, perfect knowledge, easy
entry, etc.), and oriented towards academic
quality rather than low prices, so that
competition rewards excellent research and
teaching and eliminates low quality?
What kind of university for what kind of society
and what kind of purpose?
  • In our analytical framework for addressing this
    question we have to go
  • Beyond routine, incremental change and reform,
    and conceptualize current dynamics as search for
    a new pact between the University and its
  • Beyond a dominant concern for substantive
    performance and explore the possible independent
    importance of the legitimacy of institutions in
    the assessment and justification of existing
    arrangements, reforms and change.
  • Beyond functionalism and analyze change as
    processes of contestation.
  • Beyond a single-institution framework and take
    into account inter-institutional tensions and
  • Beyond explanations based upon environmental
    determinism or strategic choice and consider the
    more complex ecology of processes and
    determinants in which the European University is
    currently embedded.

Higher Education Reforms in the Nordic
Countries Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden
  • Higher Education Reforms
  • Role of politics National strategy/framework?
  • Concentration vs spreading of funds and talents
  • Structure of HE system
  • Funding
  • Ownership of institutions
  • Personnel status
  • Dominant vision on HE organisation and governance

a. Role of Politics Denmark National
framework strategy Denmark in the Global
Economy HE reforms top-down driven Finland
National Innovation Strategy HE reforms
combination of top-down and bottom-up Sweden No
national knowledge oriented strategy, but
active involvement of politics in HE development
HE reforms mainly bottom-up Norway Politics
has abdicated from HE and Research. Regional
policy dimension dominant HE reforms in close
consultation between Ministry and HEIs
b. Concentration Denmark Overall strong
concentration tendency, esp. in
research Finland Overall strong concentration
tendency combined with regional HE policy
focus Sweden Discussion on the need to
concentrate research funding has started in
2007 Norway Institutional concentration
politically unacceptable. Centers of excellence
in research and in innovation funded by NFR
c. Structure of HE system Denmark
Strengthening of binary structure aot through
mergers 8 universities next to and separated
from 8 professional colleges Finland Further
development of binary system through
inter-sectoral mergers and cross-sectoral
cooperation structures. National top
universities Sweden Discussion on reduction of
number of universities, and stronger separation
between basic research universities and other
HEIs. Mergers. Norway Opening up of binary
sector gradual integration of university and
professional college sectors
d. Ownership of institutions Denmark
Partial independent legal status since 2003
(special administrative entities in public
law) Finland Move towards universities as
independent public agencies or private
foundations. First private foundation university
starts 1 January 2010 (Aalto University) Sweden
Among 38 HEIs three private foundations since
mid-1990s. National Commission proposal to turn
all Swedish HEIs into public corporations.
Norway All seven universities and nearly all
professional colleges are state structures. One
specialised university (BI) large private
e. Public Funding (at least 80 of institutional
budget) Denmark Contracts basis for public HE
funding. Increase of public research budget
concentration of basic research funding in
universities. Limited use of incentives. Tuition
fees only for non-EU students. Taximeter system
for public funding of HE Finland Contracts
basis for HE funding. Aims Larger institutional
financial autonomy. Experiments with introduction
of tuition fees for non-EU students Sweden
Proposal structural separation between funding
of research and funding of higher education. HEIs
received funds for stimulating excellence
themselves, instead of nationally funded Centers
of Excellence. No tuition fees Norway 60 basic
grant, remaining 40 distributed on the basis of
performance in education (open budget) and
research (fixed budget). No tuition fees.
Nationally funded Centers of Excellence (research
and education)
f. Status Personnel Denmark Civil
servants Finland Move away from civil service
status Sweden Move away from civil service
status Norway Civil servants
g. European Integration Denmark Overall,
critical towards further European integration.
Was among leading countries (with Italy and
Norway) in implementing Bologna Declaration. In
HE and Research Global strategy/framework. Finlan
d Most integrated and effective EU member of
Nordic countries. In HE and Research policies
strong focus on innovation. Late implementation
of Bologna Declaration (2006). Sweden Overall
critical towards further European integration
however, in research policy among prime
implementers of European measures and policies.
Late implementation of Bologna Declaration
(2007) Norway Fanatically anti-EU membership
however, in HE and Research among leading
implementers of European integration measures and
policies. Uses Nordic Cooperation as link to EU
decision making. Was among leading countries
(with Denmark and Italy) in implementing Bologna.
Visions on HE Governance and Organisation
Autonomy Conflict Internal factors dominant External/Environmental factors dominant
Shared norms and objectives Humboldt Traditionally strong in Sweden and Denmark weak in Norway Finland moderate. Currently defended by staff unions Hierarchy Traditionally strong in all Nordic countries. Currently move away in Denmark, Finland, and Sweden. Norway HE linked to regional agenda
Conflicting norms and objectives Democracy Important in all Nordic countries since 1960s. Currently strong in Norway, Finland, and Sweden under pressure in Denmark Market Traditionally not important. Nordic welfare state modernized. Currently weak to moderate market elements in HE governance and organisation in all 4 countries.

Conclusions 1. National reforms of HE and
Research are strongly affected by European
integration context 2. As a separate HE process,
the Bologna process is over. It is now part of a
much larger and more complex change dynamics that
is aimed at further stimulating the integration
of European HE, while at the same time there are
clear efforts in many countries to redefine the
(control and steering) role of the national
governments wrt HE.

3. In creating new system level order in European
HE, there is not 'one HE system model that fits
all European societies'. Also the four Nordic
countries that in many respects are similar and
very close, and have set up after WWII the first
formal regional cooperation structure in Europe
(Nordic Council of Ministers) have different
approaches to the reform of their university / HE
sectors 4. In socio-economically effective and
successful European countries HE is regarded as
a core public sector that requires a high level
of public investments. 5. Nonetheless, HE
reforms are needed we are in a transition period
in which a new pact between HE and society is

6. As an analytical tool, autonomy is of limited
value. We have to strengthen our tool box in our
attempts to make sense of the current dynamics of
HE in Europe