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The Modernisation of European Universities

Cross-National Academic Perspectives


Edited By Marek Kwiek and Andrzej Kurkiewicz

The recent decade brought about new ways of thinking about universities. European-level educational policies became increasingly influential as the agenda of university reforms was viewed as part of greater Lisbon strategy reforms. National governments adopted the economic concept of the university consistently developed in subsequent official documents of the European Commission. The EU member states currently need to balance their educational policies between the requirements of policies promoted by the EU and the requirements of their national systems. Additionally, the national educational policies are under high pressure due to globalisation. European universities and European academics operate in the midst of these large-scale changes. Their interpretations of and their responses to what is termed «the modernisation agenda of European universities» are at the core of this volume.


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Chapter 6: Higher Education Funding Reforms in Europeand the 2006 Modernisation Agenda. Ben Jongbloed and Harry de Boer


Chapter 6 Higher Education Funding Reforms in Europe and the 2006 Modernisation Agenda Ben Jongbloed and Harry de Boer 1. Introduction In recent years, the general political, economic and social conditions under which our universities and other higher education providers operate have been altered drastically. And given the current financial crisis, it is very likely that such changes will continue in the years to come. Higher education has thus be- come a real-life laboratory for the study of political reform, of stability and change. The recent reforms in higher education governance – in more political terms: its ‘modernisation’ – are the topic of this chapter. In particular, we will look at reforms in the higher education funding mechanisms – the mechanisms employed by public authorities to allocate resources to research universities, universities of applied sciences and other higher education institutions, as well as their students. It is becoming increasingly clear that higher education is a critical component of societal responses to emerging challenges, and in ensuring increased welfare and competitiveness (e.g. Veugelers and Van der Ploeg 2008). The ‘wisdom’ of higher education being a major driver for economic competitiveness in an increasingly knowledge-driven global economy has made high-quality higher education more important than ever (OECD 2008). The European Commission's recent ‘Communi- cation on Supporting growth and jobs – an agenda for the modernisation of Eu- rope’s higher education systems’ (EC 2011a) has once again stressed the crucial role of universities in contributing to the economic and social prosperity of Europe and called for further...

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