European Universities and the Challenge of the Market
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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.
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Conclusions: Where are European Universities Going?

Marino Regini


Marino Regini We have shown in this book that the European university systems – and more generally HE systems, which in some countries comprise other institutes of tertiary education besides universities – are undergoing profound reorganization. But their reorganization is coming about in different ways and with different timings. Radical reforms have been undertaken even recently in some countries, while in others, governments hesitate over changes which their education ministers have pledged to make by signing various ‘joint declarations’. Yet others have long since begun changes which are not part of systematic reform but have often proved equally incisive. To what aims and logics do these processes of reorganization correspond? According to the planning documents produced by the ‘reformers’, but also the pronouncements of all the actors and stakeholders involved, the shared long-term objective is to enhance the knowledge produced by the university system (through scientific research and the training of highly skilled human capital), given its role as a crucial resource in the international competition among the ‘knowledge-based economies’. On closer inspection, however, the broad consensus on this generic programme for reorganizing European HE systems is only apparent, or at most only partial. Different actors defend different, often shifting and contradictory, interests. After all, if this were not so, it would be difficult to explain why all the European HE systems – or at least those whose governments have signed the above-mentioned joint declarations – have not, through a general process of best practices imitation, rapidly adopted analogous patterns of reorganization able to...

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