Handbook on the Politics of Higher Education
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Handbook on the Politics of Higher Education

Edited by Brendan Cantwell, Hamish Coates and Roger King

Understanding the politics of Higher Education is becoming more important as the sector is increasingly recognised as a vital source of innovation, skills, economic prosperity, and personal wellbeing. Yet key political differences remain over such issues as who should pay for higher education, how should it be accountable, and how we measure its quality and productivity. Particularly, are states or markets the key in helping to address such matters. The Handbook provides framing perspectives and perspectives, chapters on funding, governance and regulation, and pieces on the political economy of higher education and on the increased role of external stakeholders and indicators.
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Chapter 7: Global higher education and variegated regionalisms

Susan L. Robertson


This chapter examines the rise of supra-national regions and the role that higher education is increasingly playing in constituting regions on the one hand, and reconstituting higher education on the other, in different parts of the world. It argues that, oddly enough, although a great deal is written on regions such as the European Higher Education Area, there has been little exploration of what insights this work generates for understanding regions, and the nature of the relationship between European higher education projects and those in other parts of the world. In the chapter a case is made for a particular theoretical approach and methodological lens – that of ‘variegated regionalism’ _ to study regions empirically, rather than being trapped in a Europe-dominated paradigm which measures all other regional developments against this assumed one way. Using studies on higher education regionalisms in different geographic locations of the globe, the author shows that very different cultural political and economic trajectories matter, and determine different regional formations in higher education.

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