A Comparative Analysis
Introduction: European Universities Meet the Market
Marino Regini This volume focuses on the changes in the ‘degree of openness’ of European Higher Education (HE) systems to their economic context, on the one hand, and in the ‘degree of attention’ to HE by economic actors, on the other, as regards several areas of potential interaction: namely, the organization of curricula, research, services to students, funding, assessment and governance. More specifically, it focuses on variation in size, timing and forms of such changes between HE systems and between specific HE institutions. The guiding principle to interpret both variation and changes is the different degree (and different forms) to which a market logic of action, as well as entrepreneurial and managerial concepts, have penetrated the actual working of European HE systems and institutions, as a consequence of processes whose relevance will be discussed below. UNDER WHAT CONDITIONS CAN A MARKET LOGIC OF ACTION UNDERMINE THE ‘IVORY TOWERS’? We must first clarify what we mean by a ‘market logic of action’ in HE systems and which actors and market behaviour we refer to. Let us start with the ambiguities inherent in the often-cited Clark’s (1983) typology, which, obviously drawing on Polanyi (1944), distinguished between HE systems depending on the predominance of the state, academic communities or the market. Actually, the state and the (academic) community can be seen not just as regulatory institutions which shape the functioning of an HE system, in which actors behave according to the criteria of action typical of such institutions (authority or redistribution versus reciprocity...