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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 9: Higher Education in Turbulent Times. Concluding Reflections. Marek Kwiek and Peter Maassen


Chapter 9 Higher Education in Turbulent Times. Concluding Reflections Marek Kwiek and Peter Maassen This chapter addresses three issues derived from the discussions presented in the various chapters included in this volume: the context of the European integration and the European challenge for Poland as a new EU member state; the changing structure of higher education, with special reference to autonomy and funding; and the changing dynamics of public/private higher education, politics and demographics. Processes of European integration are viewed here as an environment in which national changes in higher education and research systems have been occurring. In particular, two challenges come to the fore: the recognition of the Qualifications Frameworks as a mechanism of further integration of national systems into a wider European higher education area, and a trend to concentrate European-level frontier research funding in a limited number of research-intensive European universities, as recently suggested by the European Research Council.1 The European integration as a background to national reforms The role of the European Commission in shaping higher education policies in Poland was relatively unimportant throughout the 1990s when Poland was only vaguely considered as a future member state and when the “modernization agenda for universities” was still to emerge in Europe. The Commission’s role became very important in all social areas, including higher education, at least at a declarative level, in the 2000s, especially prior to the EU Enlargement in 2004 (from a European perspective, see: Gornitzka 2005, Gornitzka 2007, Maassen and Olsen 2007, Olsen 2007b, Maassen...

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