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Benedetto Lepori and Ben Jongbloed

This chapter discusses the multiple objectives and dilemmas surrounding the resource allocation decisions in higher education taken by policy-makers and public authorities at the national level. Resourcing decisions, in particular the implementation of new policy instruments, are very much driven by particular assumptions and normative points of view, bringing in issues of political choice and resolving competing demands. The authors present a critical look at the politics of funding higher education, arguing that funding reforms inspired by policy rationales such as new public management (NPM) are always implemented in higher education systems that are characterized by a multitude of competing logics, traditions and reputations. In addition, the mixed public_private character of higher education further complicates the effects of funding decisions. All of this is making simple market-oriented solutions problematic, pointing at the limitations of government intervention and funding policies and calling for a more pragmatic approach to resource allocation in higher education.

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Benedetto Lepori, Martin Benninghoff, Ben Jongbloed, Carlo Salerno and Stig Slipersaeter

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Ben Jongbloed, Hans Vossensteyn, Frans van Vught and Don F. Westerheijden

Pressure for more transparency and accountability in higher education comes from multiple stakeholders. This chapter analyses three important instruments of transparency and accountability: accreditation, university rankings and performance contracts. These tools are interpreted from the viewpoint of three competing governance paradigms, that is, traditional (bureaucratic) public administration, new public management and networked governance. All transparency tools in one way or another provide information on the quality and relevance of the education services provided by a university and its contribution to the public good. Some of the transparency tools have recently been redesigned as responses to the wish to empower higher education’s clients and better communicate various dimensions of quality/performance/public value to its stakeholders, in particular the quality of the learning experience. Illustrative examples of new transparency tools are taken from new instruments and current debates in the US and in European countries.