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National Higher Education Reforms in a European Context

Comparative Reflections on Poland and Norway


Edited By Marek Kwiek and Peter Maassen

This book addresses the following research questions: What are the main transformations in European higher education? How do these transformations affect the national higher education systems of Norway and Poland? How do European-level higher education policy processes affect national higher education policies in Norway and Poland, especially in the areas of funding and governance? Europe and the two countries are the units of analysis, with different authors choosing different research foci and different disciplinary approaches.


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Chapter 4: University Reform and the Nordic Model. Åse Gornitzka and Peter Maassen


Chapter 4 University Reform and the Nordic Model Åse Gornitzka and Peter Maassen Introduction In this chapter we will address the question of policy change by focusing on the factors that have shaped the direction and content of university governance reforms in three national cases, Denmark, Finland and Norway. These countries are positioned within what we refer to as the Nordic socio-economic Model. The two other Nordic countries, Iceland and Sweden, are not included in this analysis. The reason for this is that we wanted to focus on the three Nordic countries that are ‘most equal’. Iceland is much smaller than the other Nordic countries, while Sweden is almost double the size of the three selected countries. In this specific analysis we look at how government policies concerning university autonomy have changed over time in the included three Nordic countries as well as how the public funding of universities has developed. We refer to these two issues as governance reforms. Our concern here is exploratory – we recognise the validity of seeing the Nordic countries as belonging to the same class of countries also when it comes to the universities and the public policies pursued with respect to them. At the same time we assume that by selecting from the Nordic countries three ‘most equal’ cases, we can analyse whether the reform instrumentation and outcomes within the overall framework of the communalities of the Nordic model are becoming more similar or more varied. This will also allow us to discuss the...

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