European Universities and the Challenge of the Market

European Universities and the Challenge of the Market

A Comparative Analysis

Marino Regini

This major volume sheds light on the changing relationship between higher education and the economy in the major European nations. It is the outcome of extensive comparative research on higher education institutions and the economy in six European regions that were specifically chosen due to their similarities in terms of economic development: the English North West, Hesse in Germany, Rhone-Alpes in France, Lombardy in Italy, Catalunyia in Spain and the Netherlands. This unique comparative nature allows the authors to draw out the variations between regions and identify institutional differences.

Chapter 7: The Netherlands: A Difficult Marketization

Loris Perotti

Subjects: business and management, management and universities, economics and finance, economics of education, education, economics of education, management and universities


Loris Perotti 7.1 THE DUTCH HE SYSTEM AND ITS CHANGES The Dutch HE system has undergone numerous changes in the last 20 years. Since the second half of the 1980s, it has seen change in ministerial policies (from centralism to autonomy with assessment), in funding mechanisms (from formula funding to the allocation of resources on competitive bases), in the governance model of universities (from participativeconsensual to managerial) and in the organization of study programmes (following introduction of the Bologna Process). This change, as we shall see, has in its turn altered the propensity of Dutch universities and Hogescholen (HBO) to address social demand and the ways in which this has come about. In this regard, some commentators have spoken of a ‘marketization’ of the Dutch HE system (Neave 1998; Jongbloed 2003), which, they claim, has led to imitation of the American model. It is not possible here to analyse the empirical evidence for this claim, although it would seem useful to distinguish between areas in which the reforms have led to incisive changes (in university governance, for example) and others in which path-dependence mechanisms have kept the institutional framework more stable (in the planning of courses, for instance). A further matter for investigation is not so much what has happened within university education strictly speaking as the change that has occurred in relationships between the latter and the vocational branch of HE. That of the Netherlands, in fact, can be defined as a two-track system divided between an academic branch...

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