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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 11: The European Debate on the Modernisation Agendafor Universities. What Has Happened Since 2000? Georg Winckler


Chapter 11 The European Debate on the Modernisation Agenda for Universities. What Has Happened Since 2000? Georg Winckler 1. The modernisation debate In democracies, new policy directions are rarely introduced smoothly. Quite of- ten, even when there are pressing problems and new policies need to be devel- oped, no political consensus on what to do can be reached. Yet, on rare occa- sions, especially when new governments start working, the speed with which new policies can be identified and implemented is astonishing. Much depends on the right personalities proposing the right policies at the right time. The problem of modernising European universities has been a pressing one since the Second World War. Where are the right people, what are the right pol- icies and when is the right time in order to get this problem solved? What should be the role of European institutions in pushing forward the modernisation agen- da for universities? Since the emergence of knowledge societies in the 1950s, with mass higher education and with intensified research, especially in the business sector, the debate on the modernisation of universities has been gaining momentum. In many countries, the modernisation issue – is an important policy item at the na- tional – level. In this debate, it became clear that the higher education sector needs reform efforts from within the institutions as well as by governments in order to better meet the challenges of a knowledge society. However, it took un- til the beginning of the Bologna Process in 1999 and...

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