Table of Contents

European Universities in Transition

European Universities in Transition

Issues, Models and Cases

Edited by Carmelo Mazza, Paolo Quattrone and Angelo Riccaboni

This timely and important book provides a critical analysis of the changes and challenges that currently affect European universities. Using both theoretical contributions and applied case studies, leading experts argue that universities as institutions are in need of change – although the routes that the process may take are heterogeneous.

Foreword: University reform – a prerequisite for success of knowledge-based economy?

Kari Raivio

Subjects: business and management, critical management studies, management and universities, organisation studies, education, management and universities


Foreword. University reform – a prerequisite for success of knowledge-based economy? Kari Raivio The European Union (EU) set in Lisbon in 2000 the goal of being the leading knowledge-based economy in the world by 2010. To achieve that goal, at least 3 per cent of GDP would be invested in research and development (R&D) (European Parliament, 2000). In an interim evaluation (Kok, 2004) the conclusions were dismal: the European economy is falling behind compared to the USA and Asia, and the 3 per cent R&D investment target is being met only in Sweden and Finland. Enlargement is making matters more difficult, since the EU-25 is performing worse than the EU-15. Despite disappointing progress, European heads of state decided to stick to the Lisbon target but without a time limit for its attainment. Growth and jobs became the new slogan, and specific measures to resuscitate the Lisbon process were agreed upon (European Commission, 2006), including increased R&D spending, tax stimuli to promote innovation, and public procurement to open lead markets. An essential task was seen in the reform of universities. Their funding should be improved, bureaucratic meddling in their activities abandoned, and their relations with industry fostered. The Commission was mandated to draft plans for modernization of European universities (Commission of the European Communities, 2006). Great expectations are thus placed upon universities by the EU and national governments. Why this sudden attention? Are European universities really underperforming and if so, why? Are they to be blamed for...