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.

Chapter 6: New Modes of Governance: The Re-Regulation of European Higher Education and Research

Tina Hedmo and Linda Wedlin

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


Tina Hedmo and Linda Wedlin INTRODUCTION European higher education and research is currently in focus for much debate. At the European level, both national and supranational efforts are under way to set up new policies and priorities for constructing an attractive and competitive European knowledge society in which both higher education and research are believed to take prime positions. One political initiative is the Bologna process, paving the way for the organizing of comparable structures across national borders in European higher education. Another initiative is the political effort to strengthen European research by increasing public spending on, and setting up a new funding mechanism for, European basic research. From these and other current developments in Europe we thus note an increasing political interest for coordinating and controlling the production and organization of knowledge at the European level. At the same time, however, national political reforms during the last two decades have reduced the coercive impact of governments in higher education, with the effect of an increased autonomy left to the universities (Enders, 2004; Kogan and Hanney, 2000). The weakened political influence at the national level is also evinced by the reduction of state funding to research in several European countries, and the subsequent increasing importance of external financing for universities. As an outcome, we now experience a mixed form of funding, where students together with private, commercial, international and global actors are important financiers, replacing the principal role of state actors. Following the decreased role of...

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